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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2003 Dec 17;42(12):2144-8.

Cardiac troponin I in acute pericarditis.

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Cardiology Department, Maria Vittoria Hospital, Turin, Italy.



This study was designed to investigate the prognostic value of cardiac troponin I (cTnI) in viral or idiopathic pericarditis.


Idiopathic acute pericarditis has been recently reported as a possible cause of nonischemic release of cTnI. The prognostic value of this observation remains unknown.


We enrolled 118 consecutive cases (age 49.2 +/- 18.4 years; 61 men) within 24 h of symptoms onset. A highly sensitive enzymoimmunofluorometric method was used to measure cTnI (acute myocardial infarction [AMI] threshold was 1.5 ng/ml).


A cTnI rise was detectable in 38 patients (32.2%). The following characteristics were more frequently associated with a positive cTnI test: younger age (p < 0.001), male gender (p = 0.007), ST-segment elevation (p < 0.001), and pericardial effusion (p = 0.007) at presentation. An increase beyond AMI threshold was present in nine cases (7.6%), with an associated creatine kinase-MB elevation, a release pattern similar to AMI, and echocardiographic diffuse or localized abnormal left ventricular wall motion without detectable coronary artery disease. After a mean follow-up of 24 months a similar rate of complications was found in patients with a positive or a negative cTnI test (recurrent pericarditis: 18.4 vs. 18.8%; constrictive pericarditis: 0 vs. 1.3%, for all p = NS; no cases of cardiac tamponade or residual left ventricular dysfunction were detected).


In viral or idiopathic acute pericarditis cTnI elevation is frequently observed and commonly associated with young age, male gender, ST-segment elevation, and pericardial effusion at presentation. cTnI increase is roughly related to the extent of myocardial inflammatory involvement and, unlike acute coronary syndromes, is not a negative prognostic marker.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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