The PROTROPIC feasibility study: prognostic value of elevated troponins in critical illness
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PURPOSE: Elevated cardiac troponin concentrations in people with critical illness are associated with an increased risk of death. We aimed to assess the feasibility of a larger study to ascertain the utility of cardiac troponin as a prognostic tool for mortality in critically ill patients. METHODS: Patients admitted to participating intensive care units during the one-month enrolment period were eligible. We excluded cardiac surgical patients and patients who were admitted and either died or were discharged within 12 hr. In enrolled patients, we measured high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hs-cTnI) and obtained electrocardiograms to ascertain the incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) and isolated troponin elevation. Our feasibility objectives were to measure recruitment rate, the proportion of patients who consented under a deferred consent model, and time required for data collection and study procedures. RESULTS: Over a four-week enrolment period, 280 patients were enrolled using a deferred consent model. We obtained subsequent consent from 81% of patients. Study procedures and data collection required 1.7 hr per participant. Overall, 86 (38%) suffered a MI, 23 (10%) had an isolated hs-cTnI elevation, and 117 (52%) had no hs-cTnI elevation. The crude hospital mortality rate was 10% without an hs-cTnI elevation, 29% with an isolated hs-cTnl elevation (relative risk [RR]) 2.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0 to 6.0) and 29% with an MI (RR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.4 to 5.1). CONCLUSION: Myocardial injury with elevated hs-cTnI concentrations and MIs occur frequently during critical illness. This pilot study has established the feasibility of conducting a large-scale investigation addressing this issue.
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