Barbra Backus joins Rick Body to discuss the origin, development and future of risk scores for ED patients with possible acute coronary syndromes. Two researchers at the top of their game, and authors of the HEART and MACS scores.
Live from the London Trauma Conference 2014. Iain Beardsell interviews Mark Wilson on the need for rapid response, digital technology and the GoodSAM app.
Rick and Iain explore how the latest guidance about the use of high sensitivity troponin was developed and how far we can be assured that it is evidence based.
The NICE guidance is available here. http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/dg15
Recently we published part one of our series on cardiac troponins. If you haven't checked it out yet, you can find it here. In the second part, we're going to take a look at high sensitivity troponins and some of the more advanced areas around understanding cardiac troponin and its use in practice. We'll give you a quick run down on the troponin lingo - the language you need to be able to speak in order to fully understand how to use high sensitivity troponin in your practice, including terms like the limit of blank, limit of detection, co-efficient of variation and 99th percentile.
We'll also ask whether Joe Lex had a point when he stirred up controversy around these assays with this legendary tweet:
What if we called it "low specificity troponin" instead of "high sensitivity troponin?" Would that knock some sense into people?
— Joe Lex (@JoeLex5) October 9, 2012
So, check out the associated BLOG POST here and listen to the podcast. There is more on diagnostics and troponin to come very soon.
Hope you enjoy! Please keep the feedback, questions and comments coming. As always, we'd love to hear from you.
DOI: Much of my research work involves HsT. To help with this I have received reagents from companies who make HsT assays, but I not received any other financial benefit or gifts in kind as part of my work and have no financial ties to any companies.
Do you remember when it took three days to 'rule in' or 'rule out' an acute myocardial infarction (AMI)? When I was a medical student doing my first clinical attachments, I remember doing ward rounds on the CCU seeing patients with suspected AMI. The way they were managed is a million miles from what we do now. Back then, patients would have serial ECGs and then be admitted for cardiac enzyme evaluation over the course of the next 3 days. We'd measure CK, AST and LDH. 'CK' was the so-called 'early marker', which would rise early after the start of an AMI. Today we use CK as a marker of skeletal muscle damage (e.g. rhabdomyolysis). AST and LDH (today we think of these as liver function tests, I know) were the 'late markers' - and by late I really mean late - we might see a rise on days 2 and 3.
Could you imagine for a second, in today's world, ruling out AMI because their CK and LFTs were normal? It's completely unthinkable. That's how much cardiac troponin has changed our practice. We rely on it so completely to diagnose AMI. And yet, it's one of the most misunderstood tests in medicine. Given how much we use it, I guess we feel that we all should know lots about this test. But doctors still have so many questions. Here are just a few:
- What is cardiac troponin?
- Why is it a marker of AMI?
- What else causes a raised troponin and how?
- Should we be doing troponins at 3 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours? What's the difference and what's the evidence?
- What is a 'delta troponin'?
- What do you need to 'rule in' AMI?
- How do you use cardiac troponin in patients with renal failure?
This is just a brief list. With the research I do in this area and my experience developing protocols/guidelines, people get in touch to ask questions like this quite a lot. There are loads of questions that people ask - but there are lots of themes in common. We thought it was about time we produced a handy run down in the true spirit of #FOAMed.
Take a listen to Part 1 of our troponin podcast. While Simon and Iain have been prolifically churning out spectacular stuff for some time now, this is my debut on the St. Emlyn's podcast. I really enjoyed talking about troponin with Iain - and I hope we covered some useful stuff.
We'll cover more in part 2, when we'll move on to discussing high sensitivity troponins, what they are, how to use them and how to speak the troponin lingo. Please get in touch if there's anything we haven't covered that you'd like us to, or if there's anything you'd like us to elaborate on some more!