Usefulness of Circulating Caspase-3 p17 and Caspase-1 p20 Peptides and Cardiac Troponin 1 During Cardioplegia to Gauge Myocardial Preservation

Am J Cardiol. 2019 Mar 15;123(6):899-904. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2018.12.019. Epub 2018 Dec 19.


Evidence is accumulating that cardiac apoptosis occurs and contributes to myocyte cell death during myocardial ischemia. Cardioplegia, defined as the temporary cessation of cardiac activity during cardiac surgery, is a clinically controlled condition with myocardial ischemia and reperfusion. Our goal was to determine whether the apoptotic biomarker caspase-3 p17 is elevated in the coronary sinus (CS) during cardioplegia and if any elevations were reflected in the peripheral venous (PV) blood. Levels of the necrotic biomarker cardiac troponin I (cTnI) and the inflammatory marker caspase-1 p20 were also quantified in CS and PV. Blood was drawn before and at the end of cardioplegia in PV and CS and levels of p20, p17, and cTnI were measured. cTnI, p20, and p17 PV levels were significantly elevated compared with the control population before and at the end of cardioplegia. PV levels of all 3 markers increased after cardioplegia. CS levels were higher than PV levels for all 3 markers at both time points. Our data are consistent with the occurrence of cardiac apoptosis and inflammation during cardioplegia, in addition to necrosis. The heart-derived markers contributed to the peripheral levels and suggest that measurement of PV biomarker concentrations can be used to gauge cardiac preservation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Apoptosis
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Caspase 1 / blood*
  • Caspase 3 / blood*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Arrest, Induced / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myocardial Ischemia / blood
  • Myocardial Ischemia / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Ischemia / surgery*
  • Myocardial Revascularization / methods*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Troponin I / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • Troponin I
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspase 1