Cardiac markers in the early hours of acute myocardial infarction: clinical performance of creatine kinase, creatine kinase MB isoenzyme (activity and mass concentration), creatine kinase MM and MB subform ratios, myoglobin and cardiac troponin T

O Hetland, K Dickstein
Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation 1996, 56 (8): 701-13
We compared early markers of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in the first 6 h from the onset of symptoms in 133 non-traumatized patients arriving at the emergency department with chest pain suggestive of AMI. Clinical performance parameters were calculated on the basis of 45 patients with AMI and 88 patients with a non-AMI diagnosis. At admission and in the first 0-3 h after the onset of chest pain the creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB) subform ratio was the most sensitive test at a comparable specificity level of 0.95. In the time interval of 3-5 h, myoglobin, the CK-MB mass concentration and the CK-MB subform ratio were associated with the greatest areas under receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, but differences between these tests were small and non-significant. At 6 h from the onset of pain, differences in clinical performance between the same three tests were even smaller whether or not samples drawn after the start of thrombolytic treatment were included in the test comparison. For confirmation of AMI at 6 h after onset of pain, CK-MB (activity and mass concentration) demonstrated the highest positive likelihood ratio, and for exclusion of AMI at 6 h the CK-MB subform ratio was associated with the highest negative likelihood ratio. However, differences between the CK-MB subform ratio, CK-MB mass concentration and myoglobin were not significant as estimated by the substantial overlap between the confidence intervals of the likelihood ratios and the ROC areas at 6 h. Cardiac troponin T (cTnT) demonstrated an ROC area equal to the CK-MB isoform ratio and myoglobin at 6 h. However, the likelihood ratio for ruling out AMI was lower, mostly due to the elevated cTnT in unstable coronary disease not defined as AMI. We conclude that the CK-MB subform ratio, CK-MB mass concentration and myoglobin do not demonstrate any significant differences in clinical performance for ruling in or ruling out acute myocardial infarction at 6 h after the onset of chest pain.

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