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Is there excessive troponin testing in clinical practice? Evidence from emergency medical admissions

Published:December 19, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2020.12.009

      Highlights

      • Both a hscTnT test request and its result predict 30-day in-hospital mortality
      • A linear relationship exists between hscTnT testing, length of stay, and subsequent investigations
      • However, hscTnT testing does not increase LOS or investigations when adjusted for case complexity

      Abstract

      Aim

      : To investigate whether excessive high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hscTnT) testing, in non-cardiac presentations, increases hospital length of stay (LOS) by driving down-stream investigations.

      Methods

      : We report on all hscTnT tests in emergency medical admissions, performed over a 9-year period between 2011-2019. Troponin testing frequency in different risk cohorts was determined and related to 30-day in-hospital mortality with a multivariable logistic regression model adjusted for other outcome predictors. Downstream utilization of procedures/services was related to LOS with zero truncated Poisson regression.

      Results

      : There were 66,475 admissions in 36,518 patients. hscTnT was tested in 24.4% of admissions, more frequently in the elderly (>70 years 33.4%, >80 years 35.9%), cardiovascular presentations (33.6%) and in those with high comorbidity (42.2%), and reduced in those with neurologic presentations (20%). A hscTnT request predicted increased 30-day in-hospital mortality OR 3.33 (95% CI: 3.06, 3.64). The univariate odds ratio (OR) of hscTnT test result was 1.45 (95% CI: 1.42, 1.49) and was semi-quantative with worsening outcomes as hscTnT increased. It remained predictive in the fully adjusted model OR 1.17 (95% CI: 1.09, 1.26). LOS was linearly related to the number of procedures/services performed. hscTnT testing did not increase LOS or number of procedures/services

      Conclusion

      : A clinical request for hscTnT testing is prognostic and risk categorises. Subsequent resource utilization, if increased, appears an epiphenomenon related to risk categorisation, rather than being driven by inappropriate hscTnT testing.

      Keywords

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