Objectives: Myocardial infarction after major surgery is frequent, drives outcome, and consumes health resources. Specific prediction and detection of perioperative myocardial infarction is an unmet clinical need. With the widespread use of high-sensitive cardiac troponin T assays, positive tests become frequent, but their diagnostic or prognostic impact is arguable. We, therefore, studied the association of routinely determined pre- and postoperative high-sensitive cardiac troponin T with the occurrence of major adverse cardiac events.
Design: This study was a prospective noninterventional trial.
Setting: This study was conducted at Hannover Medical School in Germany.
Patients: A total of 455 patients undergoing open vascular surgery were followed for 30 days for the occurrence of major adverse cardiac events.
Measurements and Main Results: Preoperative and 24-hour postoperative high-sensitive cardiac troponin T measurements and the respective changes were correlated to medical history and the occurrence of major adverse cardiac events (cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, and ischemia). Pre- and postoperative high-sensitive cardiac troponin T measurements demonstrated a majority of patients with detectable troponin levels preoperatively and an increase over the 24 hours after surgery. The level of high-sensitive cardiac troponin T was significantly associated with preexisting diseases that constitute the Lee’s Revised Cardiac Risk Index. A preoperative high-sensitive cardiac troponin T greater than or equal to 17.8 ng/L and a perioperative high-sensitive cardiac troponin T change greater than or equal to 6.3 ng/L are independently associated with the occurrence of major adverse cardiac events. Adding high-sensitive cardiac troponin T absolute change to the Revised Cardiac Risk Index improves the risk predictive accuracy of the score as evidenced by increased area under receiver operating characteristic and significant reclassification effects.
Conclusions: The risk predictive power of high-sensitive cardiac troponin T change in addition to the Revised Cardiac Risk Index could facilitate 1) detection of patients at highest risk for perioperative myocardial ischemia, 2) evaluation and development of cardioprotective therapeutic strategies, and 3) decisions for admission to and discharge from high-density care units.