Ultrasensitive troponin and lab reports

heart

I attended an NEAACC meeting which featured the pathologist Petr Jarolim speaking about troponin. Since I haven’t followed troponin for a few years, I was humbled to learn how fast things have changed. For example, for ultrasensitive troponin assays:

  • 100% of healthy subjects have a measureable troponin
  • The higher the troponin value, the more likely a cardiac event, even for values below the cutoff

This led to a question from the audience, should healthy people get a baseline troponin value. The speaker is a pathologist not a clinician but he thought this was a good idea and he has his baseline value.

This raises an issue about lab reports, which typically do not list the manufacturer of the assay. But for an assay such as troponin, if one got serial results over the years and didn’t know if the results were from one manufacturer, the results might be hard to interpret. Maybe healthy people will get serial troponin values, maybe not, but the same lab report problem exists for all assays. The manufacturer/test method should be listed on the lab report.

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