Background: The objective of this study was to evaluate serum cardiac troponin T and I levels in patients in whom electrocardiogram, myocardial scan, and serum CK-MB levels of the MB isoenzyme of creatine kinase indicated perioperative myocardial infarction (MI) after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).
Methods: We studied 590 patients who underwent CABG at the Montreal Heart Institute between 1992 and 1996. Postoperative cardiac troponin T levels (493 patients), troponin I levels (97 patients), and activity of the MB isoenzyme of creatine kinase, electrocardiograms, clinical data, and clinical events were recorded prospectively. The diagnosis of perioperative PMI was defined by a new Q wave on the electrocardiogram, by serum levels of the MB isoenzyme of creatine kinase higher than 100 IU/L within 48 hours after operation, or both.
Results: After CABG, 22 patients in whom troponin T levels (22/493, 4.5%) and 6 patients in whom troponin I levels (6/97, 6.2%) were measured had sustained a perioperative MI according to current diagnostic criteria. In these patients, troponin T levels higher than 3.4 microg/L 48 hours after CABG best detected the presence of perioperative MI, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.95, a sensitivity of 90%, a specificity of 94%, a positive predictive value of 41%, a negative predictive value of 99%, and a likelihood ratio of 15. Serum troponin I levels higher than 3.9 microg/L 24 hours after CABG confirmed the perioperative MI with an area under the receiver operating curve of 0.86, a sensitivity of 80%, a specificity of 85%, a positive predictive value of 24%, a negative predictive value of 99%, and a likelihood ratio of 5.
Conclusions: Serum troponin T levels higher than 3.4 microg/L 48 hours after CABG correlated best with the diagnosis of perioperative MI. Serum troponin T levels greater than 3.9 microg/L 24 hours after CABG also correlated with the diagnosis of perioperative MI, although a larger experience is needed to confirm the validity of the chosen cutoff value.