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OBJECTIVE: Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) is an acute heart failure syndrome which resembles acute coronary syndrome (ACS) at presentation. Differentiation requires coronary angiography, but where this does not occur immediately, cardiac biomarkers may provide additional utility. We performed a meta-analysis to compare troponin and natriuretic peptides (NPs) in TTS and ACS to determine if differences in biomarker profile can aid diagnosis. METHODS: We searched five literature databases for studies reporting NPs (Brain NP (BNP)/NT-pro-BNP) or troponin I/T in TTS and ACS, identifying 28 studies for troponin/NPs (5618 and 1145 patients, respectively). RESULTS: Troponin was significantly lower in TTS than ACS (standardised mean difference (SMD) -0.86; 95% CI, -1.08 to -0.64; p<0.00001), with an absolute difference of 75 times the upper limit of normal (×ULN) higher in ACS than TTS. Conversely, NPs were significantly higher in TTS (SMD 0.62; 95% CI, 0.44 to 0.80; p<0.00001) and 5.8×ULN greater absolutely. Area under the curve (AUC) for troponin in ACS versus TTS was 0.82 (95% CI, 0.70 to 0.93), and 0.92 (95% CI, 0.80 to 1.00) for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction versus TTS. For NPs, AUC was 0.69 (95% CI, 0.48 to 0.89). Combination of troponin and NPs with logistic regression did not improve AUC. Recursive Partitioning and Regression Tree analysis calculated a troponin threshold ≥26×ULN that identified 95% cases as ACS where and specificity for ACS were 85.71% and 53.57%, respectively, with 94.32% positive predictive value and 29.40% negative predictive value. CONCLUSIONS: Troponin is lower and NPs higher in TTS versus ACS. Troponin had greater power than NPs at discriminating TTS and ACS, and with troponin ≥26×ULN patients are far more likely to have ACS.

Original publication




Journal article


Open Heart

Publication Date





Acute Coronary Syndrome, Biomarkers, Heart Failure, Meta-Analysis, Humans, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Troponin, Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, Natriuretic Peptides, Biomarkers, Troponin T