Trajectory of cardiac troponin T following moderate-to-severe COVID-19 and the association with cardiac abnormalities

BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2024 Apr 13;24(1):206. doi: 10.1186/s12872-024-03854-7.


Background: COVID-19 has been associated with cardiac troponin T (cTnT) elevations and changes in cardiac structure and function, but the link between cardiac dysfunction and high-sensitive cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) in the acute and convalescent phase is unclear.

Objective: To assess whether hs-cTnT concentrations are associated with cardiac dysfunction and structural abnormalities after hospitalization for COVID-19, and to evaluate the performance of hs-cTnT to rule out cardiac pathology.

Methods: Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 had hs-cTnT measured during the index hospitalization and after 3-and 12 months, when they also underwent an echocardiographic study. A subset also underwent cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) after 6 months. Cardiac abnormalities were defined as left ventricular hypertrophy or dysfunction, right ventricular dysfunction, or CMR late gadolinium.

Results: We included 189 patients with hs-cTnT concentrations measured during hospitalization for COVID-19, and after 3-and 12 months: Geometric mean (95%CI) 13 (11-15) ng/L, 7 (6-8) ng/L and 7 (6-8) ng/L, respectively. Cardiac abnormalities after 3 months were present in 45 (30%) and 3 (8%) of patients with hs-cTnT ≥ and < 5 ng/L at 3 months, respectively (negative predictive value 92.3% [95%CI 88.5-96.1%]). The performance was similar in patients with and without dyspnea. Hs-cTnT decreased from hospitalization to 3 months (more pronounced in intensive care unit-treated patients) and remained unchanged from 3 to 12 months, regardless of the presence of cardiac abnormalities.

Conclusion: Higher hs-cTnT concentrations in the convalescent phase of COVID-19 are associated with the presence of cardiac pathology and low concentrations (< 5 ng/L) may support in ruling out cardiac pathology following the infection.

Keywords: Biomarker; COVID-19; Cardiac function; Echocardiography; Troponin.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / complications
  • COVID-19* / diagnosis
  • Heart
  • Heart Defects, Congenital*
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular
  • Troponin T


  • Troponin T