Background It is unclear if cardiac troponin values are stable in patients prior to undergoing non-cardiac surgery, or if they tend to rise towards the day of surgery. Methods In this small pilot study (n = 18) among patients with cardiac risk undergoing non-cardiac surgery, we determined if high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hscTnI) changes between the preoperative clinic visit and the day of surgery. HscTnI was measured on an Abbott Architect STAT (Abbott Laboratories, USA) platform. Results The mean duration between preoperative clinic visit and day of surgery was 8.7 ± 2.8 (SD) days. Median hscTnI was 3.4 ng/L [2.0–4.8, IQR] at the preoperative visit and 2.8 ng/L [2.3–4.4] on the day of surgery (mean difference − 0.24 ng/L, 95% CI - 0.73 to 0.24 ng/L, p = 0.30). Only one patient had a large change (> 50%) along with symptoms. Discussion Evidence from this small study suggests that cardiac troponin values are stable in most high-risk patients, absent clinical events, within 10 days prior to non-cardiac surgery.