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One-hour diagnosis of heart attack possible with Roche’s troponin T test

13 January 2016  •  Author: Victoria White

Results from the TRAPID-AMI clinical study confirm a novel approach for a more rapid diagnosis of heart attack in patients with acute chest pain.


The TRAPID-AMI study investigated more than 1,200 patients with acute chest pain during 2011-2014. It is the first clinical trial validating a short diagnostic procedure constructed from two blood tests taken from the patient one hour apart in early chest pain patients (i.e. with a pain onset of maximum 6 hours since hospital entry). The TRAPID-AMI study results demonstrate that Roche’s cardiac troponin T-high-sensitivity test shortens the time to diagnose heart attack to one hour from three hours or more, enabling healthcare professionals to treat the majority of patients much earlier as recommended in the new guidelines.

“Thanks to this new approach, we can now shorten the time to heart attack diagnosis for millions of patients presenting in emergency rooms with acute chest pain all over the world,” says Christian Mueller, professor of cardiology at the University of Basel, Switzerland, one of the study’s principal investigators. “Patients no longer have to wait for three or more hours in the emergency department, not knowing whether they have an acute, life-threatening disease or if their chest pain is caused by other reasons.”

Every 30 minute delay in AMI treatment increases the relative risk of mortality by 7.5%

Prompt treatment of an acute myocardial infarction (AMI or heart attack) is essential as every 30 minutes of delay increases the relative risk of mortality by 7.5 % in patients with AMI. Patients with chest pain and other symptoms suggestive of AMI account for approximately 10-20% of all emergency room consultations.

Troponin is a heart muscle protein that is released into the blood stream during a heart attack. A limitation of the earlier generations of blood tests was the time required to detect the troponin release, sometimes requiring up to six hours with less sensitive troponin tests. The mortality rate of heart attacks is highest within hours of onset, so an early diagnosis and initiation of treatment greatly impacts outcome and potentially saves lives.

The European Society of Cardiology adopted this accelerated diagnostic concept at their annual meeting held in London (UK) in August 2015. Their new clinical practice guidelines (2015 ESC NSTEMI) now support the 1-hour diagnostic algorithm with high-sensitive troponin testing validated in the TRAPID-AMI study.

“Results of the TRAPID-AMI study once again demonstrate how diagnostics can influence clinical practice to contribute to better patient outcomes,” says Roland Diggelmann, Chief Operating Officer of Roche Diagnostics. “At Roche, we continuously invest in clinical studies to foster innovation and to advance healthcare. We provide physicians and patients around the world with diagnostic tests and solutions that improve health and save lives.”

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