Knowing the intra-individual variation (CVi), also termed within subject biological variation, of an analyte is essential to properly interpret apparent changes in concentration. While there have been many studies assessing the CVi of cardiac troponin (cTnI), they have been limited in looking at CVi in different settings, and there is no data available on whether CVi might change in different settings.
We used our large cTnI data bank to look at the CVi of cTnI in Emergency Department (ED) patients who had an acute myocardial infarction event excluded. We looked at the effects of gender, age, climatic season, and time between samples to assess whether CVi changed. To assess the effect of age, after exclusion, we collected two samples from each subject for each study which were used to calculate the CVi between those identified groups. There were 139 males and 98 females aged <65 years and 109 males and 98 females aged ≥65 years. For gender and season, there were 122 males and 94 females in the summer period and 126 males and 102 females in the winter period. To assess long term variation there were 195 males and 153 females who had further admissions after more than 12 months.
For the four variables listed, there were no significant differences in within individual variation (CVi), but there was a significant difference in between individual variation (CVg) for men and women with regard to age. The Index of Individuality (II) was <0.20 for all conditions studied. We noted that >90% of subjects had an reference change value (RCV) <9 ng/L.
Because troponin concentration in patients without an identified cardiac condition change so little, delta changes are potentially of great value in assessing patients in the ED. Significant delta changes in troponin can occur without the 99th percentile being exceeded.
Research funding: None declared.
Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.
Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.
Informed consent: Informed consent was obtained from all individuals included in this study.
Ethical approval: This study was approved by the ACT Health Human Research Ethics Committee.
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