We have recently shown that in patients with symptoms of angina, that a blood test called troponin can predict the severity of a type of heart disease called coronary artery disease. This is where the vessels in the heart have a build-up of fatty tissue that can lead to heart attacks and angina. We do not know if this blood test can be used in other settings to predict the severity of coronary artery disease.
In this study we will look at troponin levels in every patient who attends hospital for an angiogram dye test of their heart arteries, and see if this blood test can predict the severity of heart disease seen on the test. We will also look to see if troponin can predict risk of heart attacks and strokes.
In patients who come for an angiogram, we still don’t know if unblocking the build-up of coronary can help prevent future heart attacks and improve life expectancy. However, we think that a blood test like troponin could be able to tell us which patients at the highest chance of future heart attacks and strokes. This could allow us to avoid doing unnecessary procedures in patients who have a very low risk, and help prioritise tests and intensify medical treatments in patients who will benefit the most.
In August 2023, a journal article was published to share the results of this project: access the journal article
In conclusion, researchers found that in patients with chronic angina, a blood test called troponin can objectively predict the risk of future heart attack or death independently from cardiovascular risk factors and disease severity.
As explained in this medical press article, this conclusion suggests that routine troponin testing could help identify high risk patients who require further treatment.