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Randomised Assessment of Treatment using Panel Assay of Cardiac markers--Contemporary Biomarker Evaluation (RATPAC CBE).

OBJECTIVES: To test the diagnostic accuracy for detecting an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) using highly sensitive troponin assays and a range of new cardiac biomarkers of plaque destabilisation, myocardial ischaemia and necrosis; to test the prognostic accuracy for detecting adverse cardiac events using highly sensitive troponin assays and this range of new cardiac biomarkers; and to estimate the cost-effectiveness of using highly sensitive troponin assays or this range of new cardiac biomarkers instead of an admission and 10- to 12-hour troponin measurement.

DESIGN: Substudy of the point-of-care arm of the RATPAC (Randomised Assessment of Treatment using Panel Assay of Cardiac markers) trial.

SETTING: The emergency departments of six hospitals.

PARTICIPANTS: Prospective admissions with chest pain and a non-diagnostic electrocardiogram randomised to point-of-care assessment or conventional management.

INTERVENTIONS: Blood samples taken on admission and 90 minutes from admission for measurement of cardiac markers [cardiac troponin I (cTnI), myoglobin and creatine kinase MB isoenzyme (CK-MB)] by point-of-care testing. An additional blood sample was taken at admission and 90 minutes from admission for analysis of high-sensitivity cTnI (two methods) and cardiac troponin T (cTnT), myoglobin, heart-type fatty acid-binding protein (H-FABP), copeptin and B-type natriuretic peptide (NTproBNP).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: 1. Diagnostic accuracy compared with the universal definition of myocardial infarction utilising laboratory measurements of cardiac troponin performed at the participating sites together with measurements performed in a core laboratory. 2. Ability of biomarker measurements to predict major adverse cardiac events (death, non-fatal AMI, emergency revascularisation or hospitalisation for myocardial ischaemia) at 3 months' follow-up. 3. Comparison of incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) of different biomarker measurement strategies for the diagnosis of myocardial infarction.

RESULTS: Samples were available from 850 out of 1132 patients enrolled in the study. Measurement of admission myoglobin [area under the curve (AUC) 0.76] and CK-MB (AUC 0.84) was diagnostically inferior and did not add to the diagnostic efficiency of cTnI (AUC 0.90-0.94) or cTnT (AUC 0.92) measurement on admission. Simultaneous measurement of H-FABP and cTnT or cTnI did improve admission diagnostic sensitivity to 0.78-0.92, but only to the same level as that achieved with troponin measured on admission and at 90 minutes from admission (0.78-0.95). Copeptin (AUC 0.62) and NTproBNP (AUC 0.85) measured on admission were not useful as diagnostic markers. As a prognostic marker, troponin measured on admission using a high-sensitivity assay (AUC 0.73-0.83) was equivalent to NTproBNP measurement (AUC 0.77) on admission, but superior to copeptin measurement (AUC 0.58). From modelling, 10-hour troponin measurement is likely to be cost-effective compared with rapid rule-out strategies only if a £30,000 per QALY threshold is used and patients can be discharged as soon as a negative result is available.

CONCLUSIONS: The measurement of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin is the best single marker in patients presenting with chest pain. Additional measurements of myoglobin or CK-MB are not clinically effective or cost-effective. The optimal timing for measurement of cardiac troponin remains to be defined. Copeptin measurement is not recommended. H-FABP requires further investigation before it can be recommended for simultaneous measurement with high-sensitivity troponin in patients with acute chest pain.


FUNDING: This project was funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in Health Technology Assessment; Vol. 17, No. 15. See the HTA programme website for further project information.

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