Cardiac troponin T: A noninvasive marker for heart transplant rejection?

J. D. Alexis, C. D. Lao, J. G. Selter, M. C. Courtney, D. K. Correa, S. L. Lansman, S. S. Kushwaha, A. L. Gass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Background: Diagnosis of acute rejection remains a major concern in heart transplant recipients. Currently, endomyocardial biopsy is the gold standard for detecting rejection. Given the risks and cost of endomyocardial biopsy, a noninvasive marker for rejection would be ideal. Cardiac troponin T (cTnT) is an established marker of myocyte damage, and a rat transplantation model of heart transplant rejection has suggested that cTnT may be of value in detecting rejection. Methods: The cTnT levels were measured in 90 transplant recipients (67 men and 23 women) at the time of endomyocardial biopsy. There were a total of 256 cTnT levels and 256 biopsy samples. The cTnT levels were compared by use of International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation rejection grades. Results: Only one of the 12 grade 3 biopsy specimens had a corresponding elevated cTnT level. Of the 29 biopsy specimens with myocyte necrosis (grade 2 or grade 3), three had a corresponding elevated cTnT. The cTnT levels were elevated during the first 1 to 2 months after transplantation. There was no correlation between ischemic time and cTnT levels. Conclusion: CTnT is an insensitive marker of acute rejection, both early and late after heart transplantation. Elevation of cTnT after transplantation does not seem to be directly related to ischemic time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-398
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 12 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Transplantation


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