Objective: To determine whether measurement of cardiac troponin T (cTnT) concentration in newly diagnosed peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) can be used to predict persistent left ventricular dysfunction after a 6-month follow-up.
Patients and methods: This was a prospective, multiple-centre clinical trial that studied 106 patients with newly diagnosed PPCM surviving over 6 months. cTnT concentration was measured within 2 weeks of the onset of PPCM.
Results: Serum cTnT concentration was negatively correlated with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) at follow-up (LVEF, r = −0.518, p = 0.0001). Analysis by receiver operator characteristic curve yielded an area under the curve of 0.764 (95% CI 0.669 to 0.860, p = 0.0001, vs null hypothesis value 0.5) for cTnT, and a cTnT concentration cut off of >0.04 ng/ml, predicting persistent left ventricular dysfunction with a sensitivity of 54.9% and a specificity of 90.9%. Among 106 recruited patients, there were 33 patients with cTnT concentrations >0.04 ng/ml and 73 patients with cTnT concentrations ⩽0.04 ng/ml. After a 6-month follow-up, there was significantly smaller LVEF (35.42% (13.04% vs 50.16% (10.48%, p = 0.0001) and more persistent left ventricular dysfunction (84.8% vs 31.5%, OR = 12.17 (95% CI 4.17 to 35.57), p = 0.001) in patients with cTnT >0.04 ng/ml than in patients with cTnT ⩽0.04 ng/ml.
Conclusion: Serum cTnT concentration measured within 2 weeks of the onset of PPCM was correlated negatively with LVEF at follow-up. This marker offers a simple, quick, inexpensive, non-invasive method for predicting a persistent LVEF of ⩽50%. A cTnT concentration of >0.04 ng/ml predicted persistent left ventricular dysfunction with a sensitivity of 54.9% and a specificity of 90.9%.
- cTnT, cardiac troponin T
- LVEF, left ventricular ejection fraction PPCM, peripartum cardiomyopathy
- ROC, receiver-operating characteristic
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Published Online First 25 October 2006
Competing interests: None.