Exercise and myocardial injury in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Heart. 2020 Aug;106(15):1169-1175. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2019-315818. Epub 2020 Jan 30.


Objective: Troponin and high signal intensity on T2-weighted (HighT2) cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMRi) are both markers of myocardial injury in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The interplay between exercise and disease development remains uncertain in HCM. We sought to assess the occurrence of postexercise troponin rises and its determinants.

Methods: Multicentre project on patients with HCM and mutation carriers without hypertrophy (controls). Participants performed a symptom limited bicycle test with hs-cTnT assessment pre-exercise and 6 hours postexercise. Pre-exercise CMRi was performed in patients with HCM to assess measures of hypertrophy and myocardial injury. Depending on baseline troponin (< or >13 ng/L), a rise was defined as a >50% or >20% increase, respectively.

Results: Troponin rises occurred in 18% (23/127) of patients with HCM and 4% (2/53) in mutation carriers (p=0.01). Comparing patients with HCM with and without a postexercise troponin rise, maximum heart rates (157±19 vs 143±23, p=0.004) and maximal wall thickness (20 mm vs 17 mm, p=0.023) were higher in the former, as was the presence of late gadolinium enhancement (85% vs 57%, p=0.02). HighT2 was seen in 65% (13/20) and 19% (15/79), respectively (p<0.001). HighT2 was the only independent predictor of troponin rise (adjusted odds ratio 7.9; 95% CI 2.7 to 23.3; p<0.001).

Conclusions: Postexercise troponin rises were seen in about 20% of patients with HCM, almost five times more frequent than in mutation carriers. HighT2 on CMRi may identify a group of particularly vulnerable patients, supporting the concept that HighT2 reflects an active disease state, prone to additional injury after a short episode of high oxygen demand.

Keywords: cardiac troponin; exercise, CMR; hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bicycling
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic / blood
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic / diagnosis*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic / physiopathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Exercise Test*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Netherlands
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Troponin T / blood*
  • Up-Regulation


  • Biomarkers
  • Troponin T