The emergence of cardiac troponins has been an interesting step in the diagnosis of ACS. It has clearly helped us to better triage patients toward a more aggressive posture in performing early cardiac catheterization, and in some cases, early use of adjunctive Gp IIb/IIIa antagonists and percutaneous or surgical myocardial revascularization. However, with this step forward has come uncertainty and many cardiology consults regarding positive cardiac troponins in patients without ACS or myocardial infarction. In general, increased cardiac troponins imply a worse prognosis. This is clearly true of patients with ESRD and advanced heart failure. It is also true of patients with severe, noncardiac illnesses. In other situations, such as acute pericarditis and cardiac surgery, slightly elevated cardiac troponins do not seem to predict a worse prognosis, and can probably be disregarded. The elevation of cardiac troponins after successful percutaneous coronary interventions is not unexpected, and the level of cardiac troponin release seems to predict problems, but lively controversy persists. Last, monitoring cardiac troponins in cardiac transplant recipients and those receiving certain cardiotoxic chemotherapies may be of some diagnostic value, but clearly more experience and clinical research are needed.