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Troponin blood test

4-minute read

Key facts

  • A troponin blood test is often done in people with chest pain.
  • Troponin is a protein found in your heart muscle. When your heart muscle is injured, troponin is released into your bloodstream.
  • A troponin blood test can help to work out if your chest pain is caused by a heart attack.

What is a troponin blood test?

A troponin blood test is often done in people with chest pain. It can help to work out if your pain is caused by a heart attack.

The troponin blood test has replaced cardiac enzyme blood tests, as it is more accurate. Cardiac enzyme blood tests can still be done if troponin tests are not available.

What is being tested?

Troponin is a protein found in your heart muscle. When your heart muscle is injured, troponin is released into your bloodstream.

Your troponin blood level can increase during and after a heart attack.

Often a troponin blood test will be done more than once to check for ongoing heart muscle damage.

Why do I need a troponin blood test?

You may need this type of test if your doctor suspects that you might be having (or have had) a heart attack.

A troponin blood test might be done if:

  • you have chest pain
  • there is an abnormality on an electrocardiogram (ECG or heart trace) that suggests a heart attack or heart muscle damage

How to prepare for this test

There is no preparation needed for this test.

Understanding your results

Your doctor will discuss your results with you. They will make sure you understand what the results mean for you.

A high level of troponin might indicate a heart attack. But to make a diagnosis of a heart attack, other information is needed. This includes:

  • your signs and symptoms
  • a physical examination
  • your ECG results
  • imaging test results

It’s important to have this extra information because other conditions can sometimes cause a raised troponin level.

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Resources and support

Visit the Pathology Tests Explained website for more information about testing troponin.

You can also call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 to speak to a registered nurse (known as NURSE-ON-CALL in Victoria).

About blood testing

Visit our 'Guide to blood testing' to learn more about blood tests in general with information on:

  • what happens during a blood test
  • the accuracy of your results
  • the cost of your blood test

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: November 2022


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