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High Troponin Levels

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What do I need to know about high troponin levels?

High troponin levels can be a sign of a heart attack or other heart damage. Troponin is a protein found in all muscles. Some kinds of troponin are only found in the heart muscle. Damage to the heart causes troponin to be released into the bloodstream. Heart conditions that can cause high troponin levels include heart attack, heart failure, and myocarditis (heart inflammation). Conditions that stress the heart, such as a lung clot, kidney disease, or sepsis, can also cause high levels.

How are troponin levels measured?

A blood test is used to check for troponin. A highly sensitive troponin test may be used. Troponin levels are normally too low to be detected, except by the highly sensitive test. If an elevated troponin level is detected, it may mean some kind of heart damage has occurred. An elevated level on the highly sensitive test does not necessarily mean you are suffering from heart damage. But it can mean you are at a higher risk for a future cardiovascular problem. The test then measures the amount in the blood. Levels can range from low to very high. The level can rise within a few hours of heart damage and stay high for up to 2 weeks. The test is most commonly used if a heart attack is suspected.

How do I prepare for this test?

What happens during the test?

Your blood will be drawn and checked for troponin when you arrive.

What should I expect after the test?

Healthcare providers will talk to you about next steps. This will depend on what the test results show. If you have known angina, a high troponin level means you are at risk for a heart attack or other heart problem. Healthcare providers will want to monitor your condition more closely.

Where can I get support and more information?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) for any of the following:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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