Background: It has been recently suggested that cardiac troponin T (cTnT) may be more sensitive than troponin I (cTnI) for subclinical myocardial cell injury in patients on chronic dialysis. Methods: We prospectively compared the predictive value of cTnT with cTnI, atrial (ANP) and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) in 100 consecutive outpatients on chronic dialysis without acute coronary syndromes over a period of 3 months, and assessed whether the combination of cTnT with clinical information including age, duration of dialysis, and medical histories was useful for risk stratification of these patients. During the 2-year follow-up period, 19 patients died, mostly due to cardiac causes (53%). Results: The area under the receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve for the cTnT as predictor of both overall and cardiac death was significantly greater than the area under the cTnI curve (p<0.0001 and p=0.01), the BNP curve (p<0.001 and p<0.01) or the ANP curve (p<0.0001 and p<0.005). In a stepwise multivariate Cox regression analysis, only cTnT (p<0.05 and p<0.01) and a history of heart failure requiring hospitalization (p<0.05 and p<0.005) were independent predictors of both all cause and cardiac mortality. Using parameters of cTnT ≥0.1 μg/l and/or history of heart failure, the overall and cardiac mortality rate for the low risk group (n=66) were 4.5% and 1.5%, respectively, 40% and 16% for the intermediate risk group (n=25), and 67% and 56% for the high risk group (n=9). Conclusion: cTnT concentrations offer a higher prognostic accuracy than cTnI, ANP and BNP in patients on chronic dialysis. The combination of elevated cTnT and a history of heart failure may be a highly effective means of risk stratification of these patients.
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