Myoglobin for early risk stratification of emergency department patients with possible myocardial ischemia

Gary B. Green, George W. Skarbek-Borowski, Daniel W. Chan, Gabor D. Kelen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine and compare the prognostic abilities of early, single-sample myoglobin measurement with that of creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB), with cardiac troponin T (cTnT), and with physician judgment in the absence of marker results among emergency department (ED) patients with possible myocardial ischemia. Methods: Prospective collection of clinical and serologic data using an identity-unlinked technique from patients with possible myocardial ischemia at two urban EDs. Outcome data concerning the occurrence of adverse events (AEs) during the 14 days after enrollment were used to calculate and compare the relative risks (RRs) and predictive values (with 95% confidence intervals) of the various markers for predicting AEs. Results: Among 396 analyzed patients, 65 (16.4%) accrued 104 AEs, including 13 deaths (3.3%) and 31 (7.8%) myocardial infarctions. Myoglobin predicted AEs (RR = 3.36 [95% CI = 2.19 to 5.15]) with significantly higher sensitivity (50.8% [95% CI = 38.6 to 62.9]) than either CK-MB (15.4% [95% CI = 6.6 to 24.2]) or cTnT (24.6% [95% CI = 14.1 to 35.1]), but with lower specificity (81.9% [95% CI = 77.7 to 86.0]; CK-MB = 99.7% [95% CI = 99.1 to 100]; cTnT = 93.1% [95% CI = 90.3 to 95.8]). Myoglobin had prognostic ability among patients with chest pain (3.86 [95% CI = 2.39 to 6.22]) and atypical (non- chest pain) presentation (2.71 [95% CI = 1.09 to 6.71]), including those with a nondiagnostic electrocardiogram (3.11 [95% CI = 1.44 to 6.69]). The combination of myoglobin and physician decision making identified 63 of the 65 patients (96.9% [95% CI = 92.7 to 100]) with subsequent AEs. Conclusions: The early prognostic sensitivity of myoglobin may allow identification of some high-risk patients missed by physician judgment, CK-MB, and cTnT. Myoglobin should be considered for use in the ED based on both its diagnostic and prognostic abilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-636
Number of pages12
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2000


  • CK- MB
  • Emergency department
  • Myocardial ischemia
  • Myoglobin
  • Prognosis
  • Troponin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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