The Extent of Coronary Atherosclerosis Is Associated With Increasing Circulating Levels of High Sensitive Cardiac Troponin T

Eduard M. Laufer, Alma M. A. Mingels, Mark H. M. Winkens, Ivo A. P. G. Joosen, Mark W. M. Schellings, Tim Leiner, Joachim E. Wildberger, Jagat Narula, Marja P. Van Dieijen-Visser, Leonard Hofstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective-This study explored the relationship between coronary atherosclerotic plaque burden and quantifiable circulating levels of troponin measured with a recently introduced high sensitive cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) assay. Methods and Results-Cardiac patients suspected of having coronary artery disease (CAD) but without acute coronary syndrome were studied. Cardiac troponin T levels were assessed using the fifth-generation hs-cTnT assay. All patients (n = 615) underwent cardiac computed tomographic angiography (CCTA). On the basis of CCTA, patients were classified as having no CAD or mild (<50% lesion), moderate (50% to 70% lesion), severe (> 70% lesion), or multivessel CAD (multiple > 70% lesions). As a comparison, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels were measured. Progressively increasing hs-cTnT levels were found in patients with mild (median, 4.5 ng/L), moderate (median, 5.5 ng/L), severe (median, 5.7 ng/L), and multivessel (median, 8.6 ng/L) CAD compared with patients without CAD (median, 3.7 ng/L) (all P <0.01). For high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, no such relationship was observed. In patients without CAD, 11% showed hs-cTnT levels in the highest quartile, compared with 62% in the multivessel disease group (P <0.05). Multivariance analysis identified hs-cTnT as an independent risk factor for the presence of CAD. Conclusion-In patients without acute coronary syndrome, even mild CAD is associated with quantifiable circulating levels of hs-cTnT. (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2010; 30: 1269-1275.)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1269-1275
JournalArteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • coronary artery disease
  • ischemic heart disease
  • computed tomography
  • imaging
  • troponin

Cite this