The first intracellular Ca(2+)-sensor protein to be described was the troponin complex. Only later it was -discovered that cardiac-specific isoforms of troponin I (cTnI) and troponin T (cTnT) exist, and nowadays, measurement of cardiac troponins is a corner stone in the diagnosis of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). High-sensitivity (hs-) assays have been developed that can record slightly elevated plasma concentrations of cardiac troponins as early as 3 h after onset of clinical symptoms. International guidelines defined a diagnostic cut-off at cardiac troponin levels corresponding to the 99th percentile of a healthy reference population and require that hs-assays measure this concentration with an interassay coefficient of variation ≤10%. This review provides an overview of the diagnostic and prognostic use of cardiac troponins.