Scand Cardiovasc J. 2021 May 14:1-5. doi: 10.1080/14017431.2021.1927171. Online ahead of print.
Many patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) or atrial flutter (AFL) and rapid ventricular response (RVR) have elevated high-sensitivity troponin T (hsTnT) values. Elevated hsTnT is an independent risk marker for cardiovascular events and mortality. The aim was to examine if AF/AFL patients with RVR and elevated hsTnT have an increased incidence of pathological cardiac stress tests, indicating need of further evaluation for coronary artery disease (CAD). Design: We prospectively included 90 AF/AFL patients without known heart failure and CAD presenting with AF/AFL and RVR. Half of the patients had elevated hsTnT (cases) and half had levels below the 99th percentile (controls). All patients were discharged in sinus rhythm. After approximately one week in sinus rhythm a new hsTnT was analysed and the patients performed a bicycle exercise stress test within the 30 day follow-up. The primary endpoint was a pathological stress test confirmed by a pathological SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging or a coronary angiography. Results: None of the controls reached the primary endpoint. Two patients (4%) out of the 45 cases reached the primary endpoint (p = .49 vs controls), but only one was found to have significant CAD at subsequent coronary angiography. Conclusion: Patients with paroxysmal AF/AFL, without a history of CAD and heart failure, who present with a RVR and minor hsTnT elevations were not found to have an increased incidence of pathological stress tests compared to patients with hsTnT values below the 99th percentile.