What is troponin and why does it matter?

Chest pain - heart attack detection with troponin test

When I had chest pain recently, I heard the doctors talking about troponin. What is it and why does it matter?

Senior Cardiac Nurse Christopher Allen says:

Troponin is a protein that’s released into the bloodstream during a heart attack.

Detecting troponin in the blood can help doctors diagnose a heart attack

A heart attack is caused by plaque inside one of your coronary arteries rupturing, leading to a blood clot forming around it. This blocks the blood supply to the heart muscle, which becomes damaged due to lack of oxygen, unless the problem is treated right away.

Detecting troponin in the blood can help doctors diagnose a heart attack and give you the treatment you need as soon as possible.

We have recently funded research into a troponin blood test that is even more sensitive and may help diagnose more heart attacks, particularly in women, who can release lower levels of troponin.

Christopher Allen

Meet the expert

Senior Cardiac Nurse Christopher Allen helps manage the BHF’s genetic information service and has extensive specialist experience of working in coronary care.

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