Objectives: We sought to evaluate the prognostic value of cardiac troponin I (cTnI) in asymptomatic, ambulatory patients with chronic renal failure treated with long-term hemodialysis.
Background: Smaller, short-term follow-up studies on this subject have given conflicting results.
Methods: A total of 126 ambulatory patients with chronic renal failure treated with long-term hemodialysis were followed for two years for all-cause mortality, cardiac mortality, all-cause hospital admissions and cardiac hospital admissions. Serum cTnI was measured before dialysis at the time of study entry.
Results: One hundred two patients had normal serum levels of cTnI (< or =0.03 ng/ml) and 24 patients had elevated levels (0.015 +/- 0.007 vs. 0.053 +/- 0.029 ng/ml, p < 0.0001). No significant difference in all-cause mortality (20 vs. 4 deaths), cardiac mortality (4 vs. 1 death), all-cause hospital admissions (1.74 +/- 1.72 vs. 1.25 +/- 1.19 admissions/patient) or cardiac admissions (0.52 +/- 0.89 vs. 0.33 +/- 0.76 admissions/patient) was present between the patients with normal cTnI levels and those with elevated cTnI levels. Serum cTnI was not significantly different between patients who died versus those who survived (0.022 +/- 0.019 vs. 0.022 +/- 0.021 ng/ml). Serum cTnI was not an independent predictor of all-cause mortality, cardiac mortality, all-cause admissions or cardiac admissions. Age (older) and serum albumin (lower) were independent predictors of all-cause mortality, whereas a history of myocardial infarction was an independent predictor of cardiac mortality. Serum sodium (lower) was an independent predictor of all-cause hospital admissions, whereas hypertension and previous myocardial infarction were independent predictors of cardiac admissions. The best predictors of the time to death were age (older) and serum sodium level (lower), irrespective of the serum cTnI levels.
Conclusions: Cardiac troponin I has a limited role in predicting mortality and hospital admissions in asymptomatic patients with chronic renal failure treated with long-term hemodialysis.