The goal of this study was to examine whether point-of-care testing of cardiac markers in emergency departments or coronary care units generates a substantial reduction of the turnaround time compared with central laboratory testing. A total of 4609 samples from patients with suspected acute coronary syndromes attending each of 5 participating hospitals were used to measure cardiac troponin Ton a point-of-care system at the bedside, and 3447 of these samples were simultaneously sent to each hospital's central laboratory for an emergency determination of total CK. The time to central laboratory result varied broadly (from 52-147 minutes) from hospital to hospital. There was little difference between the hospitals in the time to result for the point-of-care system (range, 12-22 minutes). The overall gain in time from point-of-care testing compared with central laboratory measurements was 65 minutes (range, 34-135 minutes).
From the *St. George's Hospital, London, UK; †Theresienkrankenhaus, Mannheim, Germany; ‡Allgemeines Krankenhaus, Vienna, Austria; §Medizinische Universitaetsklinik Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; ∥Universitaetsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Luebeck, Germany; ¶St. Joseph's General Hospital, Nenagh, Ireland; #Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain; **Huddinge sjukhus, Huddinge, Sweden; and ††Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Mannheim, Germany.
Supported by a grant from Roche Diagnostics GmbH.
Roche CARDIAC is a trademark of a member of the Roche group.
Reprints: Rainer Zerback, PhD, Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Evaluation Department Near Patient Testing, Sandhofer Strasse 116, D-68305 Mannheim, Germany (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).