The Troponin Ashes at SMACC Gold: Cullen v Body

BODY (2)

Unless you’re very new round these #FOAMed parts, by now you’ll definitely have checked out some of the greatest talks in the history of mankind from the SMACC Gold podcast over at the awesome Intensive Care Network. You’ll also, I’m sure, have checked out the stories behind the talks from our own awesome team. Simon, Natalie and Iain have all shared their SMACC Gold talks at St. Emlyn’s and given us the low down.

That means that, having not shared anything from SMACC Gold until now, I’m being a massive laggard – and it’s about time we sorted that out. And so, hot off the press, we have another SMACC Gold podcast for you right here – and this time it’s what the SMACC team described as the…

Now, for anyone who doesn’t already know [if not, where have you been?], Louise Cullen has been publishing more research about high sensitivity troponin than just about anyone in the world in the last few years.  You can get a flavour of just how much Louise is publishing by checking out her PubMed profile.  What Louise doesn’t know about high sensitivity troponin probably isn’t worth knowing. Meanwhile in Manchester, my own obsession with the early diagnosis of acute coronary syndromes has kept me pretty busy too.  But here was a daunting prospect – an invitation from the SMACC team to debate high sensitivity troponins with the one and only Louise Cullen.  And not just that.  This would be a competitive debate – with the result to be decided by an audience and a panel of some of the greatest international #FOAMed experts.  And there’s more still.  We were on Louise’s home ground – in Queensland.  I had the home crowd to contend with. There was one last caveat.  I’d be arguing for why high sensitivity troponin is a bad thing for our practice.  Here was one serious challenge.

[DDET My SMACC Gold story]

I was seriously disappointed to miss out on SMACC 2013. I couldn’t be there for family reasons – but I watched from afar – wishing I could’ve been there, day by day! I figured I’d probably missed the SMACC boat for good having reluctantly turned down such a fantastic invitation. So, when Chris Nickson invited me to SMACC Gold I was absolutely made up. I talked about ‘The Heart Under Stress’ on day 3. Aside from getting in a probably-slightly-crazy (and virtually impromptu) Tommy Cooper tribute at the end, it was terrific to have the opportunity to talk alongside some awesome people. I was following the one and only Rob Rogers, in fact – it doesn’t get a lot better. After I’d agreed (with open arms) to talk, Chris Nickson asked if I’d run a debate on high sensitivity troponin with Louise.  For those who don’t know, Louise and I have actually become great friends.  We met at a conference in 2011 and we’ve developed a terrific collaboration, also involving the awesome Martin Than – first author of the ASPECT and ADAPT trials. SMACC Gold genuinely was a conference like no other. Roger, Oli, Chris and their team have got just about everything right – from beautiful locations like Broadbeach to the venue and the innovations. What other conference can you go to where the main stage has been set up with a full tribal theme in mind – and opened by people breathing fire?


[DDET On to the podcast]

If you haven’t already, you might want to take in a bit of the background in this area.  Check out our podcast on the troponin basics and, when you’ve done that, delve deeper and get your troponin black belt by checking out our podcast on high sensitivity troponin.  You might also want to read why hypertroponinaemia does not always equal an acute myocardial infarction.

When you’ve taken in the background and got your troponin black belt, can check out the ‘Cardiology Death match’ right here.  Who won?  You decide!…

You can find Louise’s slides right here…

… And here are my own…


It was a huge privilege to run the high sensitivity troponin debate with Louise. We hope to run the 2nd leg one day soon – and next time I’ll hopefully be on home turf! We’ll also both be at #EuSEM2014. So keep your eyes out for more!

Great memories at SMACC Gold
Great memories at SMACC Gold with Louise Cullen (@louiseacullen) and Kath Woolfield (@lanafeld)


Cite this article as: Rick Body, "The Troponin Ashes at SMACC Gold: Cullen v Body," in St.Emlyn's, August 24, 2014,

Thanks so much for following. Viva la #FOAMed

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