BACKGROUND: Elevated cardiac troponin (cTn) concentrations predict an increased mortality in patients suffering from end-stage renal disease (ESRD). This study compares the performance of a precommercial high-sensitive cTnT assay (hs-cTnT) with two contemporary cTn assays in detecting cTn elevations in ESRD patients during a six-month follow-up. METHODS: Thirty-two ESRD patients were followed for six months, during which cTn concentrations were assessed every two months. Baseline biomarker concentrations were compared with those in a simultaneously measured reference population of 501 healthy subjects. RESULTS: During follow-up 26 (81%), 32 (100%) and 9 (28%) of the patients showed elevated cTn concentrations according to the current cTnT, the hs-cTnT and the cTnI assays, respectively. The range of concentrations measured in each patient had a median (interquartile range) magnitude of 0.03 mug/L (0.02-0.06), 0.017 mug/L (0.011-0.029) and 0.011 mug/L (0-0.017) according to the aforementioned assays. CONCLUSION: According to the hs-cTnT assay, all of the ESRD patients had elevated cTnT concentrations at least once during the follow-up. As elevated cTn concentrations are highly prognostic of adverse events, the use of serial measurements has thus identified additional patients at risk for such events. The fact that we find cTn concentrations to be higher in patients with a history of cardiac disease is in line with this. Additional studies in ESRD patients are needed to investigate the added diagnostic and prognostic value of the very low cTnT concentrations and variations detected only by the hs-cTnT assay.