What is the indication for cardiac marker point-of-care (POC) assays?

Updated: Nov 20, 2018
  • Author: Donald Schreiber, MD, CM; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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NACB recommendations specify that cardiac markers be available on an immediate basis 24 h/d, 7 d/wk, with a turnaround time of 1 hour. [19] Point-of-care (POC) devices that provide rapid results should be considered in hospitals whose laboratories cannot meet these guidelines.

POC assays for CK-MB, myoglobin, and the cardiac troponins TnI and TnT are available. Only qualitative TnT assays are available as POC tests, but both quantitative and qualitative POC TnI assays are currently marketed.

In a multicenter trial, the time to positivity was significantly faster for the POC device than for the local laboratory (2.5 h vs 3.4 h). [20]

In another multicenter study, which evaluated the i-STAT POC TnI assay in comparison with the central laboratory in 2000 patients with suspected ACS, POC testing reduced the length of stay by approximately 25 minutes for patients who were discharged from the ED. [21, 22] The sensitivity of current POC assays coupled with the benefit of rapid turnaround time make the POC assays attractive clinical tools in the ED.

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