Information for the public

NICE has assessed 3 assays which measure cardiac troponin levels in the blood, to help the NHS decide whether to use these products. The assays are called Elecsys Troponin T high sensitive, ARCHITECT STAT High Sensitive Troponin-I and AccuTnI+3.

Cardiac troponins are proteins which are released into the blood when heart muscle has been damaged, for example, during a heart attack. Currently, it can take 10–12 hours after a heart attack for troponin levels to rise, so 2 troponin tests are carried out (10–12 hours apart) to see if there is a change in troponin levels. For many people, this means they have to stay in hospital while the tests are done. The new troponin assays are able to pick up lower levels of troponin in the blood than older troponin assays, and they can be used to help doctors see a change in troponin levels sooner. If there is no change, then a patient may be able to go home.

The Elecsys Troponin T high sensitive and ARCHITECT STAT High Sensitive Troponin-I assays are recommended, alongside other investigations, to help doctors in emergency departments work out whether people with chest pain thought to be due to a heart problem are likely to be having a heart attack or not.

NICE has recommended research on the use of the AccuTnI+3 assay. This assay may be used in an emergency department if it is part of a research study. Details of your clinical assessment will be collected.

This page was last updated: 01 October 2014