Objectives We aimed to assess the diversity and practices of existing studies on several assays and algorithms for serial measurements of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin (hs-cTn) for risk stratification and the diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI) and 30-day outcomes in patients suspected of having non-ST-segment elevation MI (NSTEMI). Methods We searched multiple databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE, Science Citation Index, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and the CENTRAL databases for studies published between January 2006 and November 2021. Studies that assessed the diagnostic accuracy of serial hs-cTn testing in patients suspected of having NSTEMI in the emergency department (ED) were eligible. Data were analysed using the scoping review method. Results We included 86 publications, mainly from research centres in Europe, North America and Australasia. Two hs-cTn assays, manufactured by Abbott (43/86) and Roche (53/86), dominated the evaluations. The studies most commonly measured the concentrations of hs-cTn at two time points, at presentation and a few hours thereafter, to assess the two-strata or three-strata algorithm for diagnosing or ruling out MI. Although data from 83 studies (97%) were prospectively collected, 0%-90% of the eligible patients were excluded from the analysis due to missing blood samples or the lack of a final diagnosis in 53 studies (62%) that reported relevant data. Only 19 studies (22%) reported on head-to-head comparisons of alternative assays. Conclusion Evidence on the accuracy of serial hs-cTn testing was largely derived from selected research institutions and relied on two specific assays. The proportions of the eligible patients excluded from the study raise concerns about directly applying the study findings to clinical practice in frontline EDs. PROSPERO registration number CRD42018106379.
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