A multicentre analysis of troponin use in clinical practice
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- Groarke, J.D., Browne, L., Margey, R. et al. Ir J Med Sci (2013) 182: 185. doi:10.1007/s11845-012-0853-2
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The role of troponin quantification in evaluation of patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome is established, but with cost implications. Emerging high-sensitivity troponin and novel multi-marker assays herald further resource implications.
The objective of this study was to quantify recent trends in troponin usage and costs in a cross-section of hospitals.
A cross-sectional survey seeking data on troponin usage and costs from six tertiary referral, public access teaching hospitals for consecutive years between 2003 and 2009 was carried out.
A median annual increase in the volume of troponin assays requested was identified in all six hospitals, with an average median annual increase of 6.9 % across hospitals (interquartile range 3.4, 10.1 %). This annual increase was not accompanied by a corresponding increase in volume of patients presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) with chest pain. The majority (44–67 %) of troponin requests originated in the ED of hospitals. The median annual spend on troponins per hospital was €115,612 (interquartile range €80,452, €140,918). An analysis of results of assays performed in one centre found that the majority (91 %) of troponin assays performed were in the normal range.
An annual increase in troponin requests without a corresponding increase in patient activity raises the possibility of increasingly indiscriminate troponin testing. The cumulative direct and indirect costs of inappropriate testing are significant. Corrective strategies are necessary to improve patient selection and testing protocols, particularly in the advent of the high-sensitivity troponin assays and novel multi-marker strategies.