TroponinI; TnI; TroponinT; TnT; Cardiac-specific troponin I; Cardiac-specific troponin T; cTnl; cTnT
The troponin test measures the levels of one of two proteins, troponin T or troponin I, in a blood sample. These proteins are released when the heart muscle has been damaged, such as during a heart attack. The more damage there is to the heart, the greater the amount of troponin T and I there will be in the blood.
Blood is typically drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The site is cleaned with germ-killing medicine (antiseptic). The health care provider wraps an elastic band around the upper arm to apply pressure to the area and make the vein swell with blood.
Next, the health care provider gently inserts a needle into the vein. The blood collects into an airtight vial or tube attached to the needle. The elastic band is removed from your arm.
Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.
The sample is sent to a laboratory where the levels of troponins are measured.
Usually, no special preparation is necessary.
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, you may feel moderate pain, or only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
The most common reason to perform this test is to diagnose a heart attack. Your doctor will order this test if you have chest pain and signs of a heart attack. The test is usually repeated two more times over the next 12 to 16 hours.
Your doctor may also order this test if you have angina that is getting worse, but no signs of a heart attack.
The troponin test may also be done to help detect and evaluate other causes of heart injury.
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Antman EM, Hand M, Armstrong PW, et al. 2007 Focused Update of the ACC/AHA 2004 Guidelines for the Management of Patients With ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines: developed in collaboration With the Canadian Cardiovascular Society endorsed by the American Academy of Family Physicians: 2007 Writing Group to Review New Evidence and Update the ACC/AHA 2004 Guidelines for the Management of Patients With ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, Writing on Behalf of the 2004 Writing Committee. Circulation. 2008 Jan 15;117(2):296-329.
Brady WJ, Harrigan RA, Chan TC. Acute Coronary Syndrome. In: Marx JA, ed. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 76.
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