Background: We performed a retrospective case-control study to assess the values of cardiac troponin I (cTnI) in a large number of patients admitted to the emergency department (ED) with different types of trauma.
Methods: The study population consisted of all patients aged 18 years or older admitted to the local ED with all types of traumas over a 1-year period. Results of cTnI were compared with those of 125 consecutive blood donors and 25 non-cardiac chest pain ED patients.
Results: The final study population consisted of 380 trauma patients, 10 with isolated abdominal trauma, 99 with isolated trauma of the limbs, 49 with isolated chest trauma, 145 with isolated head trauma and 77 with polytrauma. The concentration of cTnI did not differ among the three study populations, but the frequency of measurable values was substantially higher in patients with trauma (63%) than in blood donors and non-cardiac chest pain ED patients (both 20%). The frequency of cTnI values above the 99th percentile of the reference range was significantly higher in trauma patients (20%) than in blood donors (0%) and noncardiac chest pain ED patients (8%). Increased cTnI values were more frequent after head trauma (21%), chest trauma (27%) and polytrauma (29%) compared to patients with abdominal (0%) or limbs trauma (8%).
Conclusions: These results suggest that the measurement of cardiac troponin may be advisable to identify potential cardiac involvement in trauma patients, especially in those with polytrauma and head or chest trauma.
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