Objectives: We evaluated C-reactive protein (CRP) alone and in conjunction with a rapid qualitative assay for cardiac-specific troponin T (cTnT) for predicting 14-day mortality in patients with unstable angina or non-Q wave myocardial infarction (NQMI).
Background: Elevated CRP has been found to correlate with higher risk for cardiac events in patients with coronary disease.
Methods: At enrollment into the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) 11A trial, a dose-ranging trial of enoxaparin for unstable angina and NQMI, serum was obtained for CRP measurement and rapid cTnT assay.
Results: Quantitative CRP and rapid cTnT assays were performed in all patients. CRP was higher among patients who died than in survivors (7.2 vs. 13 mg/dl, p = 0.0038). The probability of a positive rapid cTnT assay rose with increasing CRP concentration (p < 0.0001). Among patients with a negative rapid cTnT assay, the mortality rate was higher among patients with CRP > or = 1.55 mg/dl (5.80% vs. 0.36%, p = 0.006). Patients with both an early positive rapid cTnT assay (< or = 10 min until assay positive) and CRP > or = 1.55 mg/dl had the highest mortality, followed by those with either CRP > or = 1.55 mg/dl or an early positive rapid cTnT assay, whereas patients with both a negative rapid cTnT assay and CRP < 1.55 mg/dl were at very low risk (9.10% vs. 4.65% vs. 0.36%, p = 0.0003).
Conclusions: Elevated CRP at presentation in patients with unstable angina or NQMI is correlated with increased 14-day mortality, even in patients with a negative rapid cTnT assay. Quantitative CRP and a rapid cTnT assay provide complementary information for stratifying patients with regard to mortality risk.