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Marie Westwood 1,*, Thea van Asselt 2, Bram Ramaekers 2, Penny Whiting 1, Praveen Thokala 3, Manuela Joore 2, Nigel Armstrong 1, Janine Ross 1, Johan Severens 4, Jos Kleijnen 5

1 Kleijnen Systematic Reviews Ltd, York, UK
2 Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Medical Technology Assessment, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands
3 Health Economics and Decision Science Group, School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
4 Institute of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
5 School for Public Health and Primary Care (CAPHRI), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
* Corresponding author Email: marie@systematic-reviews.com

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The full text of this issue is available as a PDF document from the Toolkit section on this page.

The full text of this issue is available as a PDF document from the Toolkit section on this page.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Early diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) can ensure quick and effective treatment but only 20% of adults with emergency admissions for chest pain have an AMI. High-sensitivity cardiac troponin (hs-cTn) assays may allow rapid rule-out of AMI and avoidance of unnecessary hospital admissions and anxiety.

OBJECTIVE

To assess the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of hs-cTn assays for the early (within 4 hours of presentation) rule-out of AMI in adults with acute chest pain.

METHODS

Sixteen databases, including MEDLINE and EMBASE, research registers and conference proceedings, were searched to October 2013. Study quality was assessed using QUADAS-2. The bivariate model was used to estimate summary sensitivity and specificity for meta-analyses involving four or more studies, otherwise random-effects logistic regression was used. The health-economic analysis considered the long-term costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) associated with different troponin (Tn) testing methods. The de novo model consisted of a decision tree and Markov model. A lifetime time horizon (60 years) was used.

RESULTS

Eighteen studies were included in the clinical effectiveness review. The optimum strategy, based on the Roche assay, used a limit of blank (LoB) threshold in a presentation sample to rule out AMI [negative likelihood ratio (LR-) 0.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.05 to 0.18]. Patients testing positive could then have a further test at 2 hours; a result above the 99th centile on either sample and a delta (Î ) of â ¥â 20% has some potential for ruling in an AMI [positive likelihood ratio (LR+) 8.42, 95% CI 6.11 to 11.60], whereas a result below the 99th centile on both samples and a Î of <â 20% can be used to rule out an AMI (LR- 0.04, 95% CI 0.02 to 0.10). The optimum strategy, based on the Abbott assay, used a limit of detection (LoD) threshold in a presentation sample to rule out AMI (LR- 0.01, 95% CI 0.00 to 0.08). Patients testing positive could then have a further test at 3 hours; a result above the 99th centile on this sample has some potential for ruling in an AMI (LR+ 10.16, 95% CI 8.38 to 12.31), whereas a result below the 99th centile can be used to rule out an AMI (LR- 0.02, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.05). In the base-case analysis, standard Tn testing was both most effective and most costly. Strategies considered cost-effective depending upon incremental cost-effectiveness ratio thresholds were Abbott 99th centile (thresholds of <â £6597), Beckman 99th centile (thresholds between £6597 and £30,042), Abbott optimal strategy (LoD threshold at presentation, followed by 99th centile threshold at 3 hours) (thresholds between £30,042 and £103,194) and the standard Tn test (thresholds over £103,194). The Roche 99th centile and the Roche optimal strategy [LoB threshold at presentation followed by 99th centile threshold and/or Î 20% (compared with presentation test) at 1-3 hours] were extendedly dominated in this analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

There is some evidence to suggest that hs-CTn testing may provide an effective and cost-effective approach to early rule-out of AMI. Further research is needed to clarify optimal diagnostic thresholds and testing strategies.

STUDY REGISTRATION

This study is registered as PROSPERO CRD42013005939.

FUNDING

The National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Early diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) can ensure quick and effective treatment but only 20% of adults with emergency admissions for chest pain have an AMI. High-sensitivity cardiac troponin (hs-cTn) assays may allow rapid rule-out of AMI and avoidance of unnecessary hospital admissions and anxiety.

OBJECTIVE

To assess the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of hs-cTn assays for the early (within 4 hours of presentation) rule-out of AMI in adults with acute chest pain.

METHODS

Sixteen databases, including MEDLINE and EMBASE, research registers and conference proceedings, were searched to October 2013. Study quality was assessed using QUADAS-2. The bivariate model was used to estimate summary sensitivity and specificity for meta-analyses involving four or more studies, otherwise random-effects logistic regression was used. The health-economic analysis considered the long-term costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) associated with different troponin (Tn) testing methods. The de novo model consisted of a decision tree and Markov model. A lifetime time horizon (60 years) was used.

RESULTS

Eighteen studies were included in the clinical effectiveness review. The optimum strategy, based on the Roche assay, used a limit of blank (LoB) threshold in a presentation sample to rule out AMI [negative likelihood ratio (LR-) 0.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.05 to 0.18]. Patients testing positive could then have a further test at 2 hours; a result above the 99th centile on either sample and a delta (Î ) of â ¥â 20% has some potential for ruling in an AMI [positive likelihood ratio (LR+) 8.42, 95% CI 6.11 to 11.60], whereas a result below the 99th centile on both samples and a Î of <â 20% can be used to rule out an AMI (LR- 0.04, 95% CI 0.02 to 0.10). The optimum strategy, based on the Abbott assay, used a limit of detection (LoD) threshold in a presentation sample to rule out AMI (LR- 0.01, 95% CI 0.00 to 0.08). Patients testing positive could then have a further test at 3 hours; a result above the 99th centile on this sample has some potential for ruling in an AMI (LR+ 10.16, 95% CI 8.38 to 12.31), whereas a result below the 99th centile can be used to rule out an AMI (LR- 0.02, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.05). In the base-case analysis, standard Tn testing was both most effective and most costly. Strategies considered cost-effective depending upon incremental cost-effectiveness ratio thresholds were Abbott 99th centile (thresholds of <â £6597), Beckman 99th centile (thresholds between £6597 and £30,042), Abbott optimal strategy (LoD threshold at presentation, followed by 99th centile threshold at 3 hours) (thresholds between £30,042 and £103,194) and the standard Tn test (thresholds over £103,194). The Roche 99th centile and the Roche optimal strategy [LoB threshold at presentation followed by 99th centile threshold and/or Î 20% (compared with presentation test) at 1-3 hours] were extendedly dominated in this analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

There is some evidence to suggest that hs-CTn testing may provide an effective and cost-effective approach to early rule-out of AMI. Further research is needed to clarify optimal diagnostic thresholds and testing strategies.

STUDY REGISTRATION

This study is registered as PROSPERO CRD42013005939.

FUNDING

The National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme.

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