Serial Measurement of High-Sensitivity Troponin I and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in the EXAMINE Trial (Examination of Cardiovascular Outcomes With Alogliptin Versus Standard of Care)

Circulation. 2017 May 16;135(20):1911-1921. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.116.024632. Epub 2017 Feb 28.


Background: We aimed to describe the relationship between changes in high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hsTnI) and cardiovascular outcomes.

Methods: The EXAMINE trial (Examination of Cardiovascular Outcomes With Alogliptin Versus Standard of Care) was a phase IIIb clinical outcomes trial designed to evaluate the cardiovascular safety of alogliptin, a nonselective dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitor. Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, glycohemoglobin between 6.5% and 11% (or between 7% and 11% if they were on insulin), and a recent acute coronary syndrome (between 15 and 90 days before randomization) were eligible for the trial. hsTnI was measured using the Abbott ARCHITECT assay at baseline and 6 months in patients randomized in the EXAMINE trial. This analysis was restricted to patients randomized ≥30 days after qualifying acute coronary syndrome to mitigate the potential for persistent hsTnI elevation after acute coronary syndrome (n=3808). The primary end point of the trial was cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke. Cardiovascular death or heart failure was a prespecified, adjudicated secondary end point.

Results: At baseline, hsTnI was detectable (≥1.9 ng/L) in 93% of patients and >99th percentile upper reference limit in 16%. There was a strong relationship between increasing hsTnI, both at baseline and 6 months, and the incidence of cardiovascular events through 24 months (P<0.001 for each). Patients with undetectable hsTnI at baseline and 6 months were at the lowest risk of future cardiovascular events. Stable patients with hsTnI ≥99th percentile upper reference limit at 6 months were at increased risk of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke compared with patients with hsTnI <99 percentile upper reference limit irrespective of whether hsTnI was newly elevated (28.1% versus 8.8%; adjusted hazard ratio, 2.65; 95% confidence interval, 1.64-4.28; P<0.001) or persistently so (22.5% versus 8.8%; adjusted hazard ratio, 1.90; 95% confidence interval, 1.33-2.70; P<0.001). Alogliptin neither increased nor decreased the risk of cardiovascular events compared with placebo in patients with high baseline hsTnI (22.3% versus 23.0%; hazard ratio, 0.87; 95% confidence interval, 0.60-1.25; P=0.44).

Conclusions: Serial assessment of hsTnI revealed a substantial proportion of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus without clinically recognized events had dynamic or persistently elevated values and were at high risk of recurrent events. hsTnI may have a role in personalizing preventive strategies in patients with diabetes mellitus based on risk.

Clinical trial registration: URL: Unique identifier: NCT00968708.

Keywords: acute coronary syndrome; cardiac biomarkers; secondary prevention; troponin; type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / blood*
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / therapy
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Piperidines / therapeutic use*
  • Standard of Care* / trends
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Troponin I / blood*
  • Uracil / analogs & derivatives*
  • Uracil / therapeutic use


  • Biomarkers
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Piperidines
  • Troponin I
  • Uracil
  • alogliptin

Associated data