Background: Elevations of the MB isoform of creatine kinase (CK) and cardiac troponin T seem to confer an adverse prognosis in unstable angina. We examined whether this prognostic influence is also present for cardiac troponin I (cTnI), a new and even more specific marker of myocardial injury. Methods and Results: We studied 106 patients with the clinical diagnosis of unstable angina showing chest discomfort at rest within 48 hours of admission. ECG evidence of myocardial ischemia, and normal values of total CK over the initial 16 hours of observation. The primary end point was death or nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) at 30 days; the secondary end point was the incidence of cardiac events at 1 year. Blood was drawn every 8 hours for 3 days. Thirteen patients were excluded because of increased CK-MB mass concentrations within 16 hours of admission (non-Q-wave MI) and 2 because of inadequate blood sampling. Of the remaining 91 patients, 22 had cTnI elevations on admission (n=7) or after 8 hours (n=15). At 30 days, no deaths (0%) and 4 MIs (5.8%) occurred in the 69 patients with normal cTnI compared with 2 deaths (9.1%) and 4 MIs (18.2%) in the 22 patients with elevated cTnI. The combined incidence of death and nonfatal MI was 5.8% and 27.3%, respectively (P=.02). At 1 year, only 68% of patients with elevated cTnI were free of cardiac events, compared with 90% of those without elevations (P=.01). Conclusions: These data indicate that cTnI is an important prognostic variable in patients with unstable angina. Elevations of cTnI predict in adverse short- and long-term prognosis.
- myocardial infarction