Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2021 May 26. doi: 10.1164/rccm.202103-0613OC. Online ahead of print.
RATIONALE: Sepsis commonly results in elevated serum troponin I levels and increased risk for post-sepsis cardiovascular complications; however, the association between troponin I level during sepsis and cardiovascular complications after sepsis is unclear.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the association between serum troponin levels during sepsis and 1-year post-sepsis cardiovascular risks.
METHODS: We included patients aged >40 years without a prior diagnosis of cardiovascular disease within 5-years, admitted with sepsis across 21 hospitals from 2011 to 2017. Peak serum troponin I levels during sepsis were grouped as normal (<0.04ng/mL) or tertiles of abnormal (>0.04 to <0.09ng/mL, >0.09 to <0.42ng/mL, or >0.42ng/mL). Multivariable adjusted, cause-specific, Cox proportional hazards models that treated death as a competing risk were used to assess associations between peak sepsis troponin I levels and a composite cardiovascular outcome (atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure) in the year following sepsis. Models were adjusted for pre-sepsis and intra-sepsis factors considered potential confounders.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Among 14,046 patients with troponin I measured during sepsis, 2,012 (14.3%) patients experienced the composite cardiovascular outcome in the year following sepsis hospitalization. Compared with patients with normal troponin levels, those with elevated troponins had increased risks of adverse cardiovascular events (adjusted Hazard Ratiotroponin 0.04-0.09=1.37 (95% CI 1.20-1.55), aHRtroponin 0.09-0.42=1.44 (95% CI 1.27-1.63), and aHRtroponin > 0.42=1.77 (95% CI 1.56-2.00)).
CONCLUSIONS: Among patients without pre-existing cardiovascular disease, troponin elevation during sepsis identified patients at increased risk for post-sepsis cardiovascular complications. Strategies to mitigate cardiovascular complications among this high-risk subset of patients is warranted.