25 Aug 06

Bench-to-bedside review: Significance and interpretation of elevated troponin in septic patients

Posted in Sepsis, Troponin at 9:15 by Laci

By R Favory and R Neviere

Critical Care 2006, 10:224

Because no bedside method is currently available to evaluate myocardial contractility independent of loading conditions, a biological marker that could detect myocardial dysfunction in the early stage of severe sepsis would be a helpful tool in the management of septic patients. Clinical and experimental studies have reported that plasma cardiac troponin levels are increased in sepsis and could indicate myocardial dysfunction and poor outcome. The high prevalence of elevated levels of cardiac troponins in sepsis raises the question of what mechanism results in their release into the circulation. Apart from focal ischemia, several factors may contribute to the microinjury and minimal myocardial cell damage in the setting of septic shock. A possible direct cardiac myocytotoxic effect of endotoxins, cytokines or reactive oxygen radicals induced by the infectious process and produced by activated neutrophils, macrophages and endothelial cells has been postulated. The presence of microvascular failure and regional wall motion abnormalities, which are frequently observed in positive-troponin patients, also suggest ventricular wall strain and cardiac cell necrosis. Altogether, the available studies support the contention that cardiac troponin release is a valuable marker of myocardial injury in patients with septic shock.

01 Jun 06

Elevated cardiac troponin levels in critically ill patients: Prevalence, incidence, and outcomes

Posted in Critical Care, Troponin at 10:47 by Laci

By W Lim, DJ Cook, LE Griffith,  M A Crowther, PJ Devereaux

Am J Crit Care  2006;15:280-288 

Levels of cardiac troponin, a sensitive and specific marker of myocardial injury, are often elevated in critically ill patients.

To document elevated levels of cardiac troponin I in patients in a medical-surgical intensive care unit and the relationship between elevated levels and electrocardiographic findings and mortality.

A total of 198 patients expected to remain in the intensive care unit for at least 72 hours were classified as having myocardial infarction (cardiac troponin I level =1.2 µg/L and ischemic electrocardiographic changes), elevated troponin level only (=1.2 µg/L and no ischemic electrocardiographic changes), or normal troponin levels. Events were classified as prevalent if they occurred within 48 hours after admission and as incident if they occurred 48 hours or later after admission. Factors associated with mortality were examined by using regression analysis.

A total of 171 patients had at least one troponin level measured in the first 48 hours. The prevalence of elevated troponin level was 42.1% (72 patients); 38 patients (22.2%) had myocardial infarction, and 34 (19.9%) had elevated troponin level only. After the first 48 hours, 136 patients had at least 1 troponin measurement. The incidence of elevated troponin level was 11.8% (16 patients); 7 patients (5.1%) met criteria for myocardial infarction, and 2 (1.5%) had elevated troponin level only. Elevated levels of troponin I at any time during admission were associated with mortality in the univariate but not the multivariate analysis.

Elevated levels of cardiac troponin I in critically ill patients do not always indicate myocardial infarction or an adverse prognosis.

10 Jan 06

Elevated troponin and myocardial infarction in the intensive care unit

Posted in Critical Care, Troponin at 15:13 by Laci

By Wendy Lim , Ismael Qushmaq , Deborah J Cook , Mark A Crowther , Diane Heels-Ansdell and PJ Devereaux for the Troponin T Trials Group

Critical Care 2005, 9:R636-R644 http://ccforum.com/content/9/6/R636

Elevated troponin levels indicate myocardial injury but may occur in critically ill patients without evidence of myocardial ischemia. An elevated troponin alone cannot establish a diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI), yet the optimal methods for diagnosing MI in the intensive care unit (ICU) are not established. The study objective was to estimate the frequency of MI using troponin T measurements, 12-lead electrocardiograms (ECGs) and echocardiography, and to examine the association of elevated troponin and MI with ICU and hospital mortality and length of stay.

In this 2-month single centre prospective cohort study, all consecutive patients admitted to our medical-surgical ICU were classified in duplicate by two investigators as having MI or no MI based on troponin, ECGs and echocardiograms obtained during the ICU stay. The diagnosis of MI was based on an adaptation of the joint European Society of Cardiology/American College of Cardiology definition: a typical rise or fall of an elevated troponin measurement, in addition to ischemic symptoms, ischemic ECG changes, a coronary artery intervention, or a new cardiac wall motion abnormality.

We screened 117 ICU admissions and enrolled 115 predominantly medical patients. Of these, 93 (80.9%) had at least one ECG and one troponin; 44 of these 93 (47.3%) had at least one elevated troponin and 24 (25.8%) had an MI. Patients with MI had significantly higher mortality in the ICU (37.5% versus 17.6%; P = 0.050) and hospital (50.0% versus 22.0%; P = 0.010) than those without MI. After adjusting for Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score and need for inotropes or vasopressors, MI was an independent predictor of hospital mortality (odds ratio 3.22, 95% confidence interval 1.04–9.96). The presence of an elevated troponin (among those patients in whom troponin was measured) was not independently predictive of ICU or hospital mortality.

In this study, 47% of critically ill patients had an elevated troponin but only 26% of these met criteria for MI. An elevated troponin without ischemic ECG changes was not associated with adverse outcomes; however, MI in the ICU setting was an independent predictor of hospital mortality.

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