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Am J Transplant. 2008 Nov;8(11):2352-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2008.02395.x. Epub 2008 Sep 10.

Survival of patients on the kidney transplant wait list: relationship to cardiac troponin T.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA.


Patients waiting for a kidney transplant have high mortality despite careful preselection. Herein, we assessed whether cardiac troponin T (cTnT) can help stratify risk in patients selected for kidney transplantation. cTnT levels were measured in all kidney transplant candidates but the results were not used for patient selection. Among 644 patients placed on the kidney waiting list from 9/2004 to 12/2006, 61% had elevated cTnT levels (>0.01 ng/mL). Higher levels related to diabetes, longer time on dialysis, history of cardiovascular disease and low serum albumin. High cTnT also related to cardiac anomalies, including left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), wall motion abnormalities and stress-inducible ischemia by dobutamine echo (DSE). However, 54% of patients without these cardiac findings had elevated cTnT. Increasing cTnT levels were associated with reduced survival (HR = 1.729, CI (1.25-2.39), p = 0.01) independently of low serum albumin (0.449 (0.24-0.83), p = 0.011) and history of stroke (3.368 (1.47-7.73), p = 0.0004). The results of the DSE and/or coronary angiography did not relate significantly to survival. However, high cTnT identified patients with abnormal echo findings and poor survival. Wait listed patients with normal cTnT have excellent survival irrespective of other factors. In contrast, high cTnT levels are strongly predictive of poor survival in the kidney transplant waiting list.

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