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Analytical Issues Surrounding Troponin Assays


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Challenges in Cardiovascular Medicine

Slide 2

October 2010

One of the major challenges in cardiovascular laboratory medicine revolves around acute coronary syndromes. Although acute coronary syndrome constitutes a continuum, it is usually divided into non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) and ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) based upon electrocardiogram changes at presentation.

Patients with unstable angina are also classified into the acute coronary syndrome definition and present with chest pain or other symptoms without electrocardiogram changes or evidence of myocardial necrosis. Annual statistics estimate there are 610,000 new and 325,000 recurrent acute myocardial infarctions with 6 million visits to emergency rooms across the United States. A smaller percentage (approximately 2% to 5%) of myocardial infarctions are missed in the emergency room.

Mortality rates for patients over 40 years of age are high; 20% within the first year following an MI and 30% to 40% within the next 5 years. Notably, the mortality rate is also higher for females than males.

Challenges in Cardiovascular Medicine


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