A novel biochemical approach to congestive heart failure: cardiac troponin T

Am Heart J. 1999 Jul;138(1 Pt 1):95-9. doi: 10.1016/s0002-8703(99)70252-8.


Background: The major structural characteristic of congestive heart failure is myocardial cell death. The aim of our study was to determine whether the level of cardiac troponin T, a protein specific for cardiac necrosis, was increased in patients with congestive heart failure.

Methods and results: Plasma samples were obtained from 33 patients and 47 healthy control subjects. Quantitative determination of cardiac troponin T was achieved with a second-generation enzyme immunoassay without cross-reactivity with the skeletal muscle troponin T. The mean circulating level of cardiac troponin T was 0.140 +/- 0.439 ng/mL in patients with heart failure and 0.0002 +/- 0.001 ng/mL in the healthy controls (P =. 0001). To evaluate the relation between structural degradation and functional impairment, patients in heart failure were categorized according to their radionuclide left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). In the 23 patients with LVEF </=45%, cardiac troponin T was 0.163 +/- 0.50 ng/mL, a level significantly higher than that in patients with LVEF >45% (P =.04). There was also a negative correlation between cardiac troponin T and LVEF (R = -0.41, P =.01).

Conclusions: These data show that cardiac troponin T is increased in patients with congestive heart failure and that the level parallels the severity of the disease. We conclude that cardiac troponin T is a suitable candidate-marker molecule to monitor congestive heart failure from a structural perspective.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / blood*
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis*
  • Heart Failure / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Radionuclide Ventriculography
  • Stroke Volume
  • Troponin T / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Troponin T