TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center is the first hospital in the state of Tennessee to implement an innovative new test as part of the hospital's standard cardiac patient care protocol to detect - or dismiss - a heart attack earlier and more precisely than traditional methods. Using high-sensitivity cardiac troponin testing allows providers to measure the presence of heart-specific proteins called troponins more quickly and assess heart attacks earlier when treatment options are more favorable. Troponins are proteins that help muscles contract and are released into the blood when cardiac cells die. A high-sensitivity cardiac troponin test expedites the evaluation of patients who may be experiencing an acute coronary syndrome (ACS), or a heart attack.

"The high-sensitivity cardiac troponin test provides a faster and more precise diagnosis of smaller heart attacks," said Dr. Fathi Ali, interventional cardiologist with Centennial Heart at TriStar Southern Hills. "Furthermore, an expedited diagnosis means that we can more quickly rule-out a heart attack too, alleviating some of the fear and uncertainty that our patients experience. In many cases, a heart attack can be diagnosed or dismissed as early as one to three hours from the time the patient first arrives at the emergency department compared to previous tests which can take up to twice that long. The new troponin test is much more sensitive and more precise than prior assessments."

Studies performed at organizations that utilize high-sensitivity troponin testing report an increased detection of myocardial infarctions (MIs), or heart attacks, and faster turnaround times in their emergency rooms. According to the American College of Cardiology, high-sensitivity cardiac troponin helps triage patients with ACS more accurately and rapidly than prior methods.

"Our dedicated team of cardiac care specialists remain fully committed to ensuring our community has access to the latest advancements in high-quality, leading-edge services for the prevention, detection, and treatment of cardiovascular disease," said Joanna Conley, TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center's Chief Executive Officer. "We are proud to offer this new, life-saving test as part of our cardiac patient care protocol."