Cardiac troponin T (CTT) is elevated acutely in animal models of anthracycline cardiotoxicity. We assessed CTT release in children receiving anthracylines using a third generation assay. We measured CTT in 30 children receiving anthracycline chemotherapy. A total of 3 samples were taken from each child: 1) prior to, 2) immediately after and 3) between 24-48 hours after the infusion. The dose range given during the measurements of cardiac troponin T was 15-60 (median 25) mg/m(2) and the previous exposure ranged from 0-300 (median 150) mg/m(2). Not one child had a detectable CTT level at any time. This study shows a lack of acute elevation CTT following anthracycline administration. In this respect it is unlikely that early estimation of CTT using this modern assay will be useful for screening for anthracycline cadiomyopathy. Further studies using a third generation assay, are, however, indicated to determine whether delayed elevation of CTT occurs.