Troponin biomarkers: the benefits of echocardiography in a presumed diagnosis of NSTEMI

Br J Cardiol 2014;21:160doi:10.5837/bjc.2014.037 Leave a comment
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In a previous issue of the BJC, key issues regarding the use of high-sensitivity troponin and its use in clinical context were raised.1 Despite the clear benefits with regards to earlier identification of ‘troponin-positive patients’, it is vital to highlight that troponin is specific for myocardial injury, but is not specific for the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (MI). Echocardiography is increasingly being used in cases where a ‘troponin-positive event’ is out of keeping with the history and examination for a type I MI. Competent use of this imaging modality can have drastic alterations in the management of patients and potentially prevent invasive cardiological procedures that may later provide more risk than benefit. This case report highlights the caution we must take when requesting troponin biomarkers and the use of echocardiography to aid in the management of the haemodynamically unstable patient.

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