Effect of treadmill exercise stress testing on troponin levels in children and adolescents

Anthony G. Pompa, Gaurav Arora, Tyler H. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Chest pain is a common complaint among paediatric patients and cardiac troponin (cTn) level is often part of the initial emergency department evaluation. It is well known that after intense endurance exercise cTn levels can be elevated in patients with otherwise healthy hearts, however the effect shorter duration exercise has on cTn levels in this population is not known. Objective: Determine the behaviour of cTn levels in healthy children and adolescent patients after short burst, high-intensity aerobic exercise. Methods: Patients without haemodynamically significant heart disease referred for a treadmill exercise stress test (EST) were recruited over a 6-month period. cTn levels were measured prior to exercise and 4 hours after exercise. Results: Thirteen patients enrolled. Indications for EST were exertional syncope (six), chest pain (four), and long QT syndrome (three). The median exercise time was 12.9 (9.9-13.7) minutes with an average endurance at the fiftieth percentile for age and maximum heart rate rose to an average of 92 (74-98)% of the predicted peak for age. cTn levels prior to exercise were undetectable in all patients. There was no cTn rise in any patient after exercise. There were no ischaemic changes or arrhythmias on exercise electrocardiograms. Conclusion: Serum cTn levels do not rise significantly in healthy children after short duration, high-intensity aerobic exercise. Physicians evaluating paediatric patients with an elevated cTn level after less than prolonged strenuous activity likely cannot attribute this lab value solely to exercise and may need to undertake further cardiac investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-382
Number of pages3
JournalCardiology in the young
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 18 2023


  • cardiac biomarkers
  • exercise stress test
  • Troponin


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