Myocardial injury and long-term mortality following moderate to severe carbon monoxide poisoning

JAMA. 2006 Jan 25;295(4):398-402. doi: 10.1001/jama.295.4.398.


Context: Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a common cause of toxicological morbidity and mortality. Myocardial injury is a frequent consequence of moderate to severe CO poisoning. While the in-hospital mortality for these patients is low, the long-term outcome of myocardial injury in this setting is unknown.

Objective: To determine the association between myocardial injury and long-term mortality in patients following moderate to severe CO poisoning.

Design, setting, and participants: Prospective cohort study of 230 consecutive adult patients treated for moderate to severe CO poisoning with hyperbaric oxygen and admitted to the Hennepin County Medical Center, a regional center for treatment of CO poisoning, between January 1, 1994, and January 1, 2002. Follow-up was through November 11, 2005.

Main outcome measure: All-cause mortality.

Results: Myocardial injury (cardiac troponin I level > or =0.7 ng/mL or creatine kinase-MB level > or =5.0 ng/mL and/or diagnostic electrocardiogram changes) occurred in 85 (37%) of 230 patients. At a median follow-up of 7.6 years (range: in-hospital only to 11.8 years), there were 54 deaths (24%). Twelve of those deaths (5%) occurred in the hospital as a result of a combination of burn injury and anoxic brain injury (n = 8) or cardiac arrest and anoxic brain injury (n = 4). Among the 85 patients who sustained myocardial injury from CO poisoning, 32 (38%) eventually died compared with 22 (15%) of 145 patients who did not sustain myocardial injury (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-3.7; P = .009).

Conclusion: Myocardial injury occurs frequently in patients hospitalized for moderate to severe CO poisoning and is a significant predictor of mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning / complications*
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning / mortality*
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning / therapy
  • Cardiomyopathies / chemically induced*
  • Cardiomyopathies / diagnosis
  • Cardiomyopathies / epidemiology
  • Cause of Death
  • Creatine Kinase, MB Form / blood
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Survivors
  • Troponin I / blood


  • Troponin I
  • Creatine Kinase, MB Form