Prognostic implications of normal ( <0.10 ng/ml) and borderline (0.10 to 1.49 ng/ml) troponin elevation levels in critically ill patients without acute coronary syndrome

Am J Cardiol. 2008 Sep 1;102(5):509-12. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2008.04.026. Epub 2008 Jun 12.


Borderline increase of troponin I (cTnI) is associated with higher rates of cardiovascular events compared with normal levels in the setting of acute coronary syndrome (ACS), but the significance of borderline cTnI levels in patients without chest pain may differ. The aim of this study was to determine the prognostic implications of intermediate serum cTnI levels in patients without ACS in the intensive care unit (ICU). This was a 12-month retrospective study of 240 patients without ACS in the ICU with normal (<0.1 ng/ml) or intermediate (0.1 to 1.49 ng/ml) cTnI levels. End points included in-hospital mortality, lengths of ICU and hospital stays, and rates of postdischarge readmission and mortality. Overall in-hospital mortality was 13%, with 5% in the normal cTnI group and 28% in the intermediate cTnI group. By multivariate analysis, intermediate cTnI was independently associated with in-hospital mortality (p = 0.004) and length of ICU stay (p = 0.028). The only other independent risk factor for inpatient mortality was a standardized ICU prognostic measurement (Simplified Acute Physiology Score II score). Intermediate cTnI had no prognostic implications regarding length of hospital stay, readmission rate, or postdischarge mortality at 6 months. In conclusion, an intermediate level of cTnI in patients without ACS in the ICU is an independent prognostic marker predicting in-hospital mortality and length of ICU stay. Patients with intermediate cTnI levels who survive to discharge have equivalent out-of-hospital courses for up to 6 months compared with patients with normal cTnI levels.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Coronary Disease
  • Critical Illness / mortality*
  • Female
  • Fluorescence Polarization Immunoassay
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospital Mortality / trends
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Syndrome
  • Time Factors
  • Troponin T / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Troponin T