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Troponin Blood Test

Last updated July 26, 2019

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD MPH

The Troponin Blood Test assesses the levels of troponin circulating in the blood stream. It is commonly used to identify a recent heart attack.


What are the other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • Cardiac Troponin I (cTnI) Blood Test
  • Cardiac Troponin T (cTnT) Blood Test
  • Cardiac Troponins Blood Test

What is Troponin Blood Test? (Background Information)

  • Troponin is a protein complex important in regulating skeletal and cardiac muscle contraction. It prevents muscles from contracting, unless stimulated by the nervous system
  • Troponin is made up of the proteins - troponin I (TnI), troponin T (TnT), and troponin C (TnC). They are held together in a 3-dimensional complex
  • In cases of muscle damage or degradation, troponin escapes and circulates in the blood stream. Even mild muscle injury may cause troponin release within several hours. The levels may stay elevated for up to 2 weeks
  • Troponin is a useful marker for muscle malfunction, especially in the case of a heart attack (acute myocardial infarction). It may also indicate muscle trauma or muscular degradation. The more troponin that is present in blood, the more severe the muscle malfunction
  • The Troponin Blood Test assesses the levels of troponin circulating in the blood stream. It is commonly used to identify a recent heart attack. Some of the other uses include diagnosing muscle-wasting disorders and infections

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Troponin Blood Test?

Following are the clinical indications for performing a Troponin Blood Test:

  • Diagnosing and assessing the severity of a recent heart attack that is marked by:
    • Chest pain or discomfort
    • Radiating pain to the jaw and face
    • Heartburn and indigestion
  • Assessing the severity of muscular trauma and muscle diseases

How is the Specimen Collected for Troponin Blood Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Troponin Blood Test:

Sample required: Blood

Process: Insertion of a needle into an arm vein.

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.

What is the Significance of the Troponin Blood Test Result?

Any elevation of troponin levels is abnormal and may indicate:

  • Recent heart attack
  • Rapid atrophy, which is possibly due to:
    • Muscle-wasting disease, such as myasthenia gravis
    • Viral infection
  • Recent muscle trauma

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

  • The Troponin Blood Test is often performed alongside other biochemical tests, family history analysis, physical exam, and an ECG, to better diagnose a recent heart attack

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider, the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: June 14, 2014
Last updated: July 26, 2019