Background Elevated troponin level findings among patients presenting with suspected acute coronary syndrome (ACS) or another intercurrent illness undeniably identifies patients at increased risk of mortality. Whilst enhancing our capacity to discriminate risk, the use of high-sensitivity troponin assays frequently identifies patients with myocardial injury (i.e. troponin rise without acute signs of myocardial ischemia) or type 2 myocardial infarction (T2MI; oxygen supply-demand imbalance). This leads to the clinically challenging task of distinguishing type 1 myocardial infarction (T1MI; coronary plaque rupture) from myocardial injury and T2MI in the context of concurrent acute illness. Diagnostic discernment in this context is crucial because MI classification has implications for further investigation and care. Early invasive management is of well-established benefit among patients with T1MI. However, the appropriateness of this investigation in the heterogeneous context of T2MI, where there is high competing mortality risk, remains unknown. Although coronary angiography in T2MI is advocated by some, there is insufficient evidence in existing literature to support this opinion as highlighted by current national guidelines.
Objective The objective is to evaluate the clinical and economic impact of early invasive management with coronary angiography in T2MI in terms of all-cause mortality and cost effectiveness.
Design This prospective, pragmatic, multicenter, randomized trial among patients with suspected supply demand ischemia leading to troponin elevation (n=1,800; T2MI [1,500], chronic myocardial injury ) compares the impact of invasive angiography (or computed tomography angiography as per local preference) within 5 days of randomization versus conservative management (with or without functional testing at clinician discretion) on all-cause mortality by 2 years. Randomized treatment allocation will be stratified by baseline estimated risk of mortality using the Acute Physiology, Age, and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) III risk score. Cost-effectiveness will be evaluated by follow-up on clinical events, quality of life, and resource utilization over 24 months.
Summary Ascertaining the most appropriate first-line investigative strategy for these commonly encountered high-risk T2MI patients in a randomized comparative study will be pivotal in informing evidence-based guidelines that lead to better patient and health care outcomes.