High sensitivity cardiac troponin T and interleukin-6 predict adverse cardiovascular events and mortality in anticoagulated patients with atrial fibrillation

J Thromb Haemost. 2012 Aug;10(8):1500-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2012.04812.x.


There are limited data on the prognostic role of biomarkers in anticoagulated patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). We evaluated the prognostic value of high sensitivity TnT (hsTnT) and high-sensitivity interleukin-6 (hsIL6) in a large cohort of AF patients taking oral anticoagulant therapy (OAC) as both biomarkers have been associated with adverse cardiovascular events.

Methods: We studied 930 patients (51% male; median age 76) with permanent/ paroxysmal AF who were stabilized (for at least 6 months) on OAC (INRs 2.0-3.0). Plasma hsTnT and hsIL6 levels were quantified by electrochemiluminescense immunoassay at baseline. Patients were followed-up for up to 2 years, and adverse events (thrombotic and vascular events, mortality and major bleeding) were recorded.

Results: At follow-up, 96 patients (3.97%/year) died whilst 107 had an adverse cardiovascular event (3.14%/year). On multivariate analysis, high hsTnT and high hsIL6 remained significantly associated with prognosis even after adjusting for CHADS2 score: HR 2.21 (1.46-3.35, P<0.001) for high hsTnT and 1.97 (1.29-3.02, P=0.002) for high hsIL6, for adverse cardiovascular events. For all-cause mortality, the HRs were 1.79 (1.13-2.83, P=0.013) and 2.48 (1.60-3.85, P<0.001), respectively. The integrated discrimination index (IDI) values of clinical scores (CHADS2 and CHA2 DS2-VASc) were improved by the addition of hsTnT and/or hsIL6 (all P<0.05).

Conclusion: In a large 'real world' cohort of anticoagulated AF patients, both hsTnT and hsIL6 levels provided prognostic information that was complementary to clinical risk scores for prediction of long-term cardiovascular events and death, suggesting that these biomarkers may potentially be used to refine clinical risk stratification in AF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / blood
  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / mortality
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Hemorrhage / mortality
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay
  • Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • International Normalized Ratio
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Spain
  • Stroke / blood
  • Stroke / mortality
  • Stroke / prevention & control*
  • Thromboembolism / blood
  • Thromboembolism / mortality
  • Thromboembolism / prevention & control*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Troponin T / blood*
  • Up-Regulation


  • Anticoagulants
  • Biomarkers
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • TNNT2 protein, human
  • Troponin T