Introduction Although the new generation of cardiac troponin assays have revolutionised the diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI), their application in triaging patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome requires further investigation. The objectives of the current systematic review are to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of contemporary and high-sensitivity cardiac troponin assays used in serial testing, versus single-sample testing as a comparator, to identify patients with non-ST-segment-elevation MI in the emergency department. Methods and analysis We will conduct systematic searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, Science Citation Index, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and the CENTRAL database covering the period from 1 January 2006 to present, with no restrictions on language or publication status. Two review authors will independently screen studies for inclusion, extract data from eligible studies and assess their methodological quality using Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies version 2. Studies will be included if they evaluate contemporary or high-sensitivity cardiac troponin assays used in serial testing, in patients presenting to the ED with suspicion of MI. Estimates of sensitivity and specificity from each study will be presented in forest plots and in the receiver-operating characteristics space. If appropriate, we will pool the results using Bayesian hierarchical models that allow correction for imperfect reference standard. We will obtain summary estimates of sensitivity and specificity of alternative testing protocols and compare their accuracy. We will also investigate the impact of prespecified sources of heterogeneity and methodological quality items. If pooling of results is considered inappropriate, we will present our findings in tables and diagrams and will describe them narratively. Ethics and dissemination No formal ethical approval will be sought, but we will report on the ethical approval of the included studies. Dissemination of findings will be through publications in peer-reviewed journals, presentations at conferences and the websites of the universities. PROSPERO registration number CRD42018106379.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes