Elevated Troponin: A Marker for Noncardiac Complications After Resection of Head and Neck Cancers Journal Articles uri icon

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  • ObjectiveTo examine if troponin positivity (TP) in patients who undergo head and neck cancer mucosal resections (HNS) predicts noncardiac complications (NCC).BackgroundMajor HNSs are arduous operations that place stress on the patient's hemodynamic system. TP after noncardiac surgery previously has been shown in up to 25% of patients, which may signal cardiac complications (CC) or NCC. Although CC after HNS has been observed, no study has investigated the relationship of TP to NCC.MethodsAll patients who underwent HNS at a tertiary‐care cancer center from July 2014 to July 2016 were included and underwent postoperative troponin measurements as part of an institutional cardiac protocol. Comparative and multivariate regression analysis were used to compare TP and troponin‐negative (TN) patients for NCC.ResultsOne hundred seventy‐two patients underwent HNS. Of those, 15% developed TP during the postoperative period. There was no significant difference between TP and TN for gender, tumor‐node‐metastasis staging, Charlson comorbidity index, and smoking status. Risk of NCC in TP was 73.1% versus 28.1% in TN (P < 0.001). A significant difference (P < 0.05) in wound complications, length of hospital stay (LOHS), and incidence of pneumonia was found between both groups. Nonparametric testing confirmed significant difference in pneumonia (Z = −3.469, P = 0.001) and LOHS (−3.110, P = 0.002). Multivariate regression analysis confirmed a significant difference in LOHS independent of CC (R2 = 0.122, P < 0.0001).ConclusionTP is not an uncommon occurrence after HNS and is associated with statistically significant increases in wound complications, LOHS, and pneumonia. However, the overall significance of these findings remains unclear, and further research is warranted to determine if outcomes may be improved by closely monitoring these patients for TP.Level of Evidence4 Laryngoscope, 130:2148–2152, 2020


  • McHugh, Tobial
  • Zhang, Han
  • Xie, Michael
  • Gupta, Michael K

publication date

  • September 2020