AIMS: The recently released 4th version of the Universal Definition of Myocardial Infarction (UDMI) introduces an increased emphasis on the entities of acute and chronic myocardial injury. We applied the 4th UDMI retrospectively in patients presenting to the emergency department with symptoms potentially indicating myocardial infarction (MI) to investigate its effect on diagnosis and prognosis.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We included 2302 patients presenting to the emergency department with symptoms suggestive of MI. The final diagnosis was adjudicated sequentially according to the 3rd and 4th UDMI. Reclassification after readjudication was assessed. Established diagnostic algorithms for patients with suspected MI were applied to compare diagnostic accuracy. All patients were followed to assess mortality, recurrent MI, revascularization, and rehospitalization to investigate the effect of the 4th UDMI on prognosis. After readjudication, 697 patients were reclassified. Most of these patients were reclassified as having acute (n = 78) and chronic myocardial injury (n = 585). Four hundred and thirty-four (18.9%) patients were diagnosed with MI, compared with 501 (21.8%) MIs when adjudication was based on the 3rd UDMI. In the non-MI population, patients with myocardial injury (n = 663) were older, more often female and had worse renal function compared with patients without myocardial injury (n = 1205). Application of diagnostic algorithms for patients with suspected MI revealed a high accuracy after readjudication. Reclassified patients had a substantially higher rate of cardiovascular events compared with not-reclassified patients, particularly patients reclassified to the category of myocardial injury.
CONCLUSION: By accentuating the categories of acute and chronic myocardial injury the 4th UDMI succeeds to identify patients with higher risk for cardiovascular events and poorer outcome and thus seems to improve risk assessment in patients with suspected MI. Application of established diagnostic algorithms remains safe when using the 4th UDMI.