Background: Serum concentrations of the cardiac troponins (cTn) T and I, specific markers of myocardial injury, are frequently elevated in haemodialysis patients. The clinical relevance of this is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate factors associated with increased serum levels of cTn in haemodialysis patients.
Methods: We included in this cross-sectional study 258 chronic haemodialysis patients (150 men, age 60+/-15 years) without acute coronary symptoms. Clinical data, echocardiographic hypertrophy, biochemical status, and haemodialysis regimen were evaluated for each patient. Pre-dialysis serum cTnT (Elecsys, Roche), cTnI (Stratus and RXL, Dade-Berhing), and CK-MB (Stratus, Dade-Berhing) concentrations were determined. Logistic regression was the principal method of analysis.
Results: Pre-dialysis levels of cTnT >0.1 ng/ml (n=48, 18.6% of patients) were associated with age (P<0.001), diabetes (P<0.005), history of ischaemic heart disease (P<0.05), and left ventricular hypertrophy (P<0.05). In multivariate analysis, age odds ratio ((OR) 1.04), diabetes (OR 4.9), and indexed left ventricular mass (OR 1.01) were found to be independently associated with cTnT concentration above the threshold. Only six patients had cTnI-Stratus levels >0.6 ng/ml. cTnI-RXL levels >0.3 ng/ml (n=13, 5.0%) were associated with age (P=0.05) and hypercholesterolaemia (P<0.05). Only age (OR 1.06) remained associated in multivariate analysis.
Conclusion: Elevated baseline serum levels of cardiac troponins were associated with cardiovascular risk factors, history of ischaemic heart disease and left ventricular hypertrophy in asymptomatic chronic haemodialysis patients.