Cardiac markers: point of care testing.
Point-of-care (POC) or "near-patient" testing allows diagnostic assays to be performed in locations such as the emergency department or intensive care unit where treatment decisions are made and care is delivered based on the results of these assays. Presently, there exist POC immunoassays for several cardiac markers including creatine kinase MB (CK-MB), myoglobin, troponin I, and troponin T that yield qualitative and quantitative results comparable to traditional central lab assays. In the evaluation of emergency room patients with chest pain, POC cardiac markers may improve triage and clinical outcomes. Existing POC assays combining myoglobin and CK-MB have high sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing acute myocardial infarction and may provide the earliest identification of myocardial injury. POC Troponin T assays are the most studied POC cardiac marker assays. Along with POC troponin I assays, these tests provide more sensitive identification of myocardial injury and valuable prognostic information. Prior studies of POC cardiac marker assays have not addressed whether POC testing affects patient outcome or process of care. In situations in which caregivers base triage, treatment and monitoring decisions on time-sensitive diagnostic results, POC tests linked with improved triage and treatment strategies may improve resource utilization and clinical outcomes.
Hudson, MP; Christenson, RH; Newby, LK; Kaplan, AL; Ohman, EM
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