High-sensitivity cardiac troponin T and severity of cerebral white matter lesions in patients with acute ischemic stroke
Cardiac troponin (hs-cTnT) is a sensitive marker of myocardial injury and has been linked to incident dementia. The underlying mechanism of that observation is still unknown. Given that severity of cerebral small vessel disease is a predictor of cognitive decline, we aimed to explore whether there is an association between hs-cTnT and severity of white matter lesions (WML) as a marker of cerebral small vessel disease in patients with ischemic stroke.
We analyzed consecutive acute ischemic stroke patients admitted to Charité-University Hospital, Berlin from 2011 to 2013. Severity of WML was graded on 3T-MRI using the age-related white matter severity score (ARWMS). Patients with hs-cTnT elevation suggestive of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) were excluded (hs-cTnT > 52 ng/l or dynamic change of hs-cTnT > 50%, ESC guideline). We performed unadjusted and adjusted quantile regression models to assess the association between increased hs-cTnT (dichotomized at the 99th percentile, 14 ng/l) and severity of WML.
A total of 860 patients was analyzed (median age 73 years, 44.8% female, median ARWMS 6). Patients with elevated hs-cTnT had more extensive WML than those without (median ARWMS 8 vs. 5, adjusted beta for 50th percentile 1.12, 95% CI 0.41–1.84). The association between WML and hs-cTnT elevation was strongest in patients with severe WML (adjusted beta 1.77, 95% CI 0.26–3.27 for 80th WML percentile).
Elevated hs-cTnT levels were associated with extent of WML in acute stroke patients. Further studies are needed to assess whether hs-cTnT can be used to identify stroke patients at risk for cognitive decline.
KeywordsCerebral white matter lesions Cardiac troponin Stroke Cognitive impairment
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The study protocol conforms to the ethical guidelines of the 1975 Declaration of Helsinki. Since we analysed only anonymised patient data that were obtained during clinical routine no informed consent had to be provided and consultation of the institutional review board was not required.