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Cardiac troponin: a new serum marker of myocardial injury in sepsis

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Objective: Echocardiogram-derived left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) is usually utilized to evaluate left ventricular function, including that of septic patients. However, LVEF is greatly influenced by afterload. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that troponin I, a serum marker of myocardial injury, may be able to detect left ventricular involvement by the septic process, being at least as sensitive an indicator of left ventricular dysfunction as LVEF in these patients.¶Design: Comparison of echocardiogram-derived LVEF with serum levels of troponin I in ten critically ill septic patients.¶Setting: General intensive care unit in a tertiary care private hospital.¶Patients: Ten critically ill septic patients with no previous documented heart disease.¶Measurements and results: Patients were simultaneously submitted to a two-dimensional echocardiogram and troponin I determinations. LVEFs and troponin I levels were analyzed in a two-by-two table in order to validate troponin I as a new biochemical marker of myocardial injury in sepsis. All the patients whose LVEF was < 0.5 had elevated troponin I levels (kappa = 0.61, p = 0.035).¶Conclusions: Identification of myocardial dysfunction in septic patients has been a challenging task. Troponin I, a serum marker of myocardial injury, may be of great help in the recognition of myocardial involvement by sepsis in a noninvasive and readily available way.

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Received: 25 November 1998 Final revision received: 23 July 1999 Accepted: 26 July 1999

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Fernandes Jr., C., Akamine, N. & Knobel, E. Cardiac troponin: a new serum marker of myocardial injury in sepsis. Intensive Care Med 25, 1165–1168 (1999).

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