Cardiac troponin has been well described as the preferred biomarker for diagnosis of myocardial infarction due to the high sensitivity and specificity for myocardial injury. Numerous other conditions apart from acute coronary syndrome can also lead to small elevations in troponin levels. However, the use of cTn as prognostic biomarker for the primary assessment of cardiovascular risk in asymptomatic patient has only recently been described. And with the development of newer generations of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin assays that can detect 10-fold lower concentrations of troponin, the potential value cTn in the prevention and management of asymptomatic cardiovascular disease has come to the fore. This review provides an overview of the transition of cardiac troponin as a marker of acute myocardial injury to one that detects sub-clinical injury. Evidence continues to show that high-sensitivity troponin is emerging as one of the most powerful prognostic biomarkers for the assessment of cardiovascular risk in the general population.
Keywords: Atrial fibrillation; Biomarkers; Cardiovascular disease; Clinical risk scores; Coronary artery disease; Heart failure; High sensitivity troponin; Prevention; Risk factors; Troponin I; Troponin T.