Background: Newly developed troponin assays have superior diagnostic and prognostic performance in acute coronary syndrome (ACS), when compared to conventional troponin assays; however, highly sensitive troponin has not been evaluated in patients with acute ischemic stroke. Methods: Highly sensitive troponin T (hsTnT) was measured daily during the first 4 days in 193 consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke without overt ACS or atrial fibrillation. The patients were previously tested normal with a fourth-generation TnT assay. The patients were followed for 47 months, with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality end-points. Results: A total of 33.7% of the patients had hsTnT levels >14 ng/l following admission. Patients with increased hsTnT were older, had decreased hemoglobin levels and increased creatinine, NT-proBNP and CRP levels. hsTnT concentrations at admission were significantly higher in decedents than in survivors. After adjustment for stroke severity, C-reactive protein, age, NT-proBNP and prior heart and/or renal failure, hsTnT levels were not a significant predictor of long-term all-cause or cardiovascular mortality. Conclusion: Elevated levels of hsTnT are frequently present in patients with acute ischemic stroke previously tested normal with a fourth-generation TnT assay. hsTnT did not provide additional prognostic information in these subjects.

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