Measurement of cardiac troponin I (cTnI) should be feasible for point-of-care testing (POCT) to diagnose acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Lateral flow immunoassays (LFIAs) have been long implemented in POCT and clinical settings. However, sensitivity, matrix effect and quantitation in lateral flow immunoassays (LFIAs) have been major limiting factors. The performance of LFIAs can be improved with upconverting nanoparticle (UCNP) reporters. Here we report a new methodological approach to quantify cTnI using UCNP-LFIA technology with minimized plasma interference. The performance of the developed UCNP-LFIA was evaluated using clinical plasma samples (n = 262). The developed UCNP-LFIA was compared to two reference assays, the Siemens Advia Centaur assay and an in-house well-based cTnI assay. By introducing an anti-IgM scrub line and dried EDTA in the LFIA strip, the detection of cTnI in plasma samples was fully recovered. The UCNP-LFIA was able to quantify cTnI concentrations in patient samples within the range of 30–10,000 ng/L. The LoB and LoD of the UCNP-LFIA were 8.4 ng/L and 30 ng/L. The method comparisons showed good correlation (Spearman’s correlation 0.956 and 0.949, p < 0.0001). The developed UCNP-LFIA had LoD suitable for ruling in AMI in patients with elevated cTnI levels and was able to quantify cTnI concentrations in patient samples. The technology has potential to provide simple and rapid assay for POCT in ED setting.