Comparing clinical chemistry scores to biomarker algorithms for rapid rule-out of acute myocardial infarction and risk assessment in patients with symptoms suggestive of acute coronary syndrome

Mustafa Yildirim (Heidelberg)1, C. Salbach (Heidelberg)1, C. Reich (Heidelberg)1, B. R. Milles (Heidelberg)1, M. Biener (Heidelberg)1, N. Frey (Heidelberg)1, E. Giannitsis (Heidelberg)1, M. Müller-Hennessen (Heidelberg)2

1Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg Klinik für Innere Med. III, Kardiologie, Angiologie u. Pneumologie Heidelberg, Deutschland; 2Atos Praxisklinik Zentrum für Gefäßerkrankungen und Präventivmedizin Heidelberg, Deutschland


Background. The clinical chemistry score (CCS) comprising high-sensitivity (hs) cardiac troponins (cTn), glucose and estimated glomerular filtration rate has been previously validated with superior accuracy for detection and risk stratification of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) compared to hs-cTn alone.

Methods. The CCS was directly compared to other biomarker-based algorithms for rapid rule-out and prognostication of AMI including the hs-cTnT limit-of-blank (LOB, <3 ng/L) or limit-of-detection (LOD, <5 ng/L) and the dual marker strategy (DMS) (copeptin <10 pmol/L and hs-cTnT ≤14 ng/L) in 1506 patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with symptoms suggestive of acute coronary syndrome. Negative predictive values (NPV) and sensitivities for rule-out of AMI were assessed and outcomes included rates of the combined end-point of all-cause mortality, myocardial re-infarction and stroke within 12 months.

Results. NPVs of 100% (98.3-100%) could be found for a CCS=0, hs-cTnT LoB and hs-cTnT LoD with rule-out efficacies of 11.1%, 7.6% and 18.3% as well as specificities of 13.0% (9.9-16.6%), 8.8% (7.3-10.5%) and 21.4% (19.2-23.8%), respectively. A CCS≤ 1 achieved a rule-out in 32.2% of all patients with a NPV of 99.6% (98.4-99.9%) and specificity of 37.4% (34.2-40.5%) compared to a rule-out efficacy of 51.2%, NPV of 99.0 (98.0-99.5) and specificity of 59.7% (57.0-62.4%) for the DMS. Rates of the combined end-point of death/AMI within 30 days ranged between 0.0% and 0.5% for all fast-rule-out protocols. 

Conclusions. The CCS enables a reliable rule-out of AMI with low outcome rates in short and long-term follow-up for a specific population of ED patients. However, compared to a single or dual biomarker strategy, the CCS rule-out is attenuated by a loss of specificity and lower efficacy. Thus, the clinical benefit of the CCS in clinical practice seems to be negligible.

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