Determinants of interindividual variation in exercise-induced cardiac troponin I levels
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of the American Heart Association (JAHA). 2021, 10 (17), e021710. 10.1161/JAHA.121.021710
Background: Postexercise cardiac troponin levels show considerable interindividual variations. This study aimed to identify the major determinants of this postexercise variation in cardiac troponin I (cTnI) following 3 episodes of prolonged high‐intensity endurance exercise. Methods and Results: Study subjects were recruited among prior participants in a study of recreational cyclists completing a 91‐km mountain bike race in either 2013 or 2014 (first race). In 2018, study participants completed a cardiopulmonary exercise test 2 to 3 weeks before renewed participation in the same race (second race). Blood was sampled before and at 3 and 24 hours following all exercises. Blood samples were analyzed using the same Abbot high‐sensitivity cTnI STAT assay. Fifty‐nine individuals (aged 50±9 years, 13 women) without cardiovascular disease were included. Troponin values were lowest before, highest at 3 hours, and declining at 24 hours. The largest cTnI difference was at 3 hours following exercise between the most (first race) (cTnI: 200 [87–300] ng/L) and the least strenuous exercise (cardiopulmonary exercise test) (cTnI: 12 [7–23] ng/L; P<0.001). The strongest correlation between troponin values at corresponding times was before exercise (r=0.92, P<0.0001). The strongest correlations at 3 hours were between the 2 races (r=0.72, P<0.001) and at 24 hours between the cardiopulmonary exercise test and the second race (r=0.83, P<0.001). Participants with the highest or lowest cTnI levels showed no differences in race performance or baseline echocardiographic parameters. Conclusions: The variation in exercise‐induced cTnI elevation is largely determined by a unique individual cTnI response that is dependent on the duration of high‐intensity exercise and the timing of cTnI sampling.