Cardiac troponin elevation predicts all-cause mortality in patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Int J Cardiol. 2015 Jul 15;191:187-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2015.05.006. Epub 2015 May 6.


Background: Cardiovascular disease, especially ischemic heart disease, is a major comorbidity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. Several studies suggested that after acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD), there is a significant increase of mortality (cardiac and all-cause) and of myocardial infarction. Whether cardiac troponin (Tn) elevation during AECOPD could be considered a prognostic marker of all-cause mortality is still debated.

Methods: To assess the prognostic role of cardiac Tn elevation during AECOPD, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis. We included studies with patients admitted to the hospital for AECOPD, with at least one Tn assessment and reporting the relationship (after multivariable analysis) between Tn elevation and all-cause mortality. Secondarily, studies were stratified according to: i) type of troponin (Tn I or Tn T), and ii) follow-up length (≤6 months vs. >6 months).

Results: Ten studies were included in the systematic review and 8 in the meta-analysis. Cardiac Tn elevation ranges from 18% to 73%. We found that cardiac Tn elevation was significantly related to an increased risk for all-cause mortality (OR 1.69; 95% CI 1.25-2.29; I(2) 40%). This finding was independent to the follow-up length of studies (≤6 months: OR 3.22; 95% CI 1.31-7.91; >6 months: OR 1.38; 95% CI 1.02-1.86). Finally, Tn T seems to be more helpful in predicting all-cause mortality as compared to Tn I (OR 1.54; 95% CI 1.2-1.96 vs. OR 3.39, 95% CI 0.86-13.36, respectively).

Conclusions: In patients admitted to the hospital for AECOPD, cardiac Tn elevation emerged as an independent predictor of increased risk of all-cause mortality.

Keywords: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Exacerbation; Mortality; Outcome; Troponin.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Disease Progression*
  • Humans
  • Mortality / trends
  • Observational Studies as Topic / methods
  • Patient Admission / trends
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / blood*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / mortality*
  • Troponin T / blood*


  • Troponin T