High-sensitivity cardiac troponin T levels and secondary events in outpatients with coronary heart disease from the Heart and Soul Study

Alexis L Beatty, Ivy A Ku, Robert H Christenson, Christopher R DeFilippi, Nelson B Schiller, Mary A Whooley
JAMA Internal Medicine 2013 May 13, 173 (9): 763-9

IMPORTANCE: Levels of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) predict secondary cardiovascular events in patients with stable coronary heart disease.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the association of hs-cTnT levels with structural and functional measures of heart disease and the extent to which these measures explain the relationship between hs-cTnT and secondary events.

DESIGN: We measured serum concentrations of hs-cTnT and performed exercise treadmill testing with stress echocardiography in a prospective cohort study of outpatients with coronary heart disease who were enrolled from September 11, 2000, through December 20, 2002, and followed up for a median of 8.2 years.

SETTING: Twelve outpatient clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area.

PARTICIPANTS: Nine hundred eighty-four patients with stable coronary heart disease.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction, heart failure, or cardiovascular death), determined by review of medical records and death certificates.

RESULTS: Of 984 participants, 794 (80.7%) had detectable hs-cTnT levels. At baseline, higher hs-cTnT levels were associated with greater inducible ischemia and worse left ventricular ejection fraction, left atrial function, diastolic function, left ventricular mass, and treadmill exercise capacity. During follow-up, 317 participants (32.2%) experienced a cardiovascular event. After adjustment for clinical risk factors, baseline cardiac structure and function, and other biomarkers (N-terminal portion of the prohormone of brain-type natriuretic peptide and C-reactive protein levels), each doubling in hs-cTnT level remained associated with a 37% higher rate of cardiovascular events (hazard ratio, 1.37 [95% CI, 1.14-1.65]; P = .001).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In outpatients with stable coronary heart disease, higher hs-cTnT levels were associated with multiple abnormalities of cardiac structure and function but remained independently predictive of secondary events. These findings suggest that hs-cTnT levels may detect an element of risk that is not captured by existing measures of cardiac disease severity.

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