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Age Ageing. 2009 Mar;38(2):168-74. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afn231. Epub 2008 Nov 13.

Incidence of post-operative troponin I rises and 1-year mortality after emergency orthopaedic surgery in older patients.

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  • 1Department of Aged Care, The Northern Hospital, Epping, Victoria, Australia.



to determine the incidence of post-operative troponin I rises and its association with 1-year all-cause mortality and cardiac events after emergency orthopaedic-geriatric surgery, which has not been studied before.


one hundred and two patients over the age of 60 were recruited and followed up at 1 year. All consented to serial troponin I measurements peri-operatively.


the incidence of a troponin I rise post-operatively was 52.9%. Post-operative acute myocardial infarction was diagnosed in 9.8% and at 1 year, 70% of these patients were dead. At 1 year, 32.4% (33/102) had sustained a cardiac event (myocardial infarction, congestive cardiac failure, atrial fibrillation or major arrhythmia) and using multivariate analysis, post-operative troponin rise (OR 3.9, 95% CI 1.4-10.7, P = 0.008) was an independent predictor of this. Half of the patients with a troponin rise had a cardiac event compared to 18.8% without a rise. All-cause mortality was 20.6% at 1 year; 37% with an associated post-operative troponin rise died versus 2.1% without a rise (P < 0.0001). Using multivariate analysis, only two factors were associated with 1-year all-cause mortality: post-operative troponin rise (OR 12.0, 95% CI 1.4-104.8, P = 0.025) and sustaining a post-operative in-hospital cardiac event (OR 6.6, 95% CI 1.7-25.6, P = 0.006). Furthermore, patients with higher troponin levels had significantly worse survival.


there is a high incidence of post-operative troponin I rises in older patients undergoing emergency orthopaedic surgery with 1-year mortality and cardiac events being significantly increased in these patients. Future studies are needed to determine whether any intervention can improve outcome for these patients.

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