BACKGROUND: The overall clinical decision limits of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hs-cTnI; 26 ng/L) and T (hs-cTnT; 14 ng/L) may contribute to underdiagnosis of acute myocardial infarction in women. We performed a systematic review to investigate sex-specific and overall 99th percentiles of hs-cTnI and hs-cTnT derived from healthy reference populations. CONTENT: We searched in PubMed and EMBASE for original studies, and by screening reference lists. Reference populations designed to establish 99th percentiles of hs-cTnI (Abbott) and/or hs-cTnT (Roche), published between January 2009 and October 2017, were included. Sex-specific and overall 99th percentile values of hs-cTnI and hs-cTnT were compared with overall clinical decision ranges (hs-cTnI, 23-30 ng/L; hs-cTnT, 13-25 ng/L). Twenty-eight studies were included in the systematic review. Of 16 hs-cTnI and 18 hs-cTnT studies, 14 (87.5%) and 11 (61.1%) studies reported lower femalespecific hs-cTn cutoffs than overall clinical decision ranges, respectively. Conversely, male-specific thresholds of both hs-cTnI and hs-cTnT were in line with currently used overall thresholds, particularly hs-cTnT (90% concordance). The variation of estimated overall 99th percentiles was much higher for hs-cTnI than hs-cTnT (29.4% vs 80.0% of hs-cTnI and hs-cTnT studies reported values within the current overall clinical decision range, respectively). SUMMARY: Our data show substantially lower femalespecific upper reference limits of hs-cTnI and hs-cTnT than overall clinical decision limits of 26 ng/L and 14 ng/L, respectively. The statistical approach strongly affects the hs-cTnI threshold. Downward adjustment of hs-cTn thresholds in women may be warranted to reduce underdiagnosis of acute myocardial infarction in women.
Kimenai, D. M., Janssen, E. B. N. J., Eggers, K. M., Lindahl, B., den Ruijter, H. M., Bekers, O., ... Meex, S. J. R. (2018). Sex-specific versus overall clinical decision limits for Cardiac Troponin i and T for the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction: A systematic review. Clinical Chemistry, 64(7), 1034-1043. https://doi.org/10.1373/clinchem.2018.286781