The 99th percentile upper reference limit for the 5th generation cardiac troponin T assay in the United States

Robert L. Fitzgerald*, Judd E. Hollander, W. Frank Peacock, Alexander T. Limkakeng, Nancy Breitenbeck, E. Joy Rivers, André Ziegler, Michael Laimighofer, Christopher deFilippi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Determining diagnostic thresholds for cardiac troponin assays is key to interpreting their clinical performance. We describe the calculation of 99th percentile upper reference limits (URLs) for the Elecsys® Troponin T Gen 5 (TnT Gen 5) assay. Methods: Plasma and serum samples from healthy US participants were prospectively evaluated using TnT Gen 5 Short Turn Around Time and 18-min assays on cobas e 411 and cobas e 601 analyzers (Roche Diagnostics); with, up to 8 TnT Gen 5 results per participant. Results: A total of 10,402 TnT Gen 5 results from 1301 participants were included (50.4% female). Across 9 calculation methods, overall 99th percentile URL was 19.2 ng/l (females, 13.5–13.6 ng/l; males, 21.4–22.2 ng/l). Across different sample/assay/analyzer combinations, overall 99th percentile URLs ranged from 18.4–20.2 ng/l. Median TnT Gen 5 results increased with age, were higher in males, and ranged from 3.0–3.7 ng/l across races/ethnicities and from 3.0–3.6 ng/l across body mass index (BMI) classes. Applying additional exclusion criteria (N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide, BMI and estimated glomerular filtration rate) resulted in lower 99th percentile URLs (overall, 16.9 ng/l; females, 11.8 ng/l; males, 18.5 ng/l). Conclusion: Our findings facilitate the interpretation of TnT Gen 5 results in US clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-179
Number of pages8
JournalClinica Chimica Acta
StatePublished - May 2020


  • 99th percentile
  • Cardiac biomarkers
  • Cardiac troponin T
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Reference range
  • Upper reference limit


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