Predictors of elevated cardiac enzyme levels in hospitalized patients with atrial fibrillation and no known coronary artery disease

Karyne L. Vinales, Mohammad Q. Najib, Punnaiah C. Marella, Minako Katayama, Hari P. Chaliki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We retrospectively studied the predictive capabilities of elevated cardiac enzyme levels in terms of the prognosis of patients who were hospitalized with atrial fibrillation and who had no known coronary artery disease. Among 321 patients with atrial fibrillation, 60 without known coronary artery disease had their cardiac enzyme concentrations measured during hospitalization and underwent stress testing or cardiac catheterization within 12 months before or after hospitalization. We then compared the clinical and electrocardiographic characteristics of the 20 patients who had elevated cardiac enzyme levels and the 40 patients who had normal levels. Age, sex, and comorbidities did not differ between the groups. In the patients with elevated cardiac enzyme levels, the mean concentrations of troponin T and creatine kinase-MB isoenzymes were 0.08 ± 0.08 ng/mL and 6.49 ± 4.94 ng/mL, respectively. In univariate analyses, only peak heart rate during atrial tachyarrhythmia was predictive of elevated enzyme levels (P <0.0001). Mean heart rate was higher in the elevated-level patients (146 ± 22 vs 117 ± 29 beats/min; P=0.0007). Upon multivariate analysis, heart rate was the only independent predictor of elevated levels. Coronary artery disease was found in only 2 patients who had elevated levels and in one patient who had normal levels (P=0.26). Increased myocardial demand is probably why the presenting heart rate was predictive of elevated cardiac enzyme levels. Most patients with elevated enzyme levels did not have coronary artery disease, and none died of cardiac causes during the 6-month follow-up period. To validate our findings, larger studies are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-42
Number of pages5
JournalTexas Heart Institute Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2016


  • Atrial fibrillation/blood/physiopathology
  • Biological markers/blood
  • Creatine kinase/blood
  • Heart diseases/diagnosis
  • Hospitalization
  • Predictive value of tests
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective studies
  • Risk assessment/methods
  • Troponin/blood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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