A troponin test measures the levels of troponin T or troponin I proteins in the blood. These proteins are released when the heart muscle has been damaged, such as occurs with 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.
The most common reason to perform this test is to see if a heart attack has occurred. Your health care provider will order this test if you have chest pain and other signs of a heart attack. The test is usually repeated two more times over the next 6 to 24 hours.
Your provider may also order this test if you have angina that is getting worse, but no other signs of a heart attack. (Angina is chest pain thought to be from a part of your heart not getting enough blood flow.)
Unstable angina is a condition in which your heart doesn't get enough blood flow and oxygen. It may lead to a heart attack. Angina is a type of ches...
Cardiac troponin levels are normally so low they cannot be detected with most blood tests.
Having normal troponin levels 12 hours after chest pain has started means a heart attack is unlikely.
A normal value range may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements (for example, "high sensitivity troponin test") or test different samples. Also, some labs have different cutoff points for "normal" and "probable myocardial infarction." Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.
Anderson JL. ST segment elevation acute myocardial infarction and complications of myocardial infarction. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 73.
Levine GN, Bates ER, Blankenship JC, et al. 2015 ACC/AHA/SCAI Focused update on primary percutaneous coronary intervention for patients with ST-Elevation myocardial infarction: an update of the 2011 ACCF/AHA/SCAI guideline for percutaneous coronary intervention and the 2013 ACCF/AHA guideline for the management of ST-Elevation myocardial infarction: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on clinical practice guidelines and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. Circulation. 2016;133(11):1135-1147. PMID: 26490017 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26490017.
Sabatine MS, Cannon CP. Approach to the patient with chest pain. In: Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 50.
Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.