Author(s): Clark SJ, Newland P, Yoxall CW, Subhedar NV
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Perinatal asphyxia is associated with cardiac dysfunction. This may be secondary to myocardial ischaemia. Cardiac troponin T is the ideal marker for myocardial necrosis. Elevated levels in cord blood may be associated with intrauterine hypoxia and increased perinatal morbidity. AIMS: To establish an upper limit of normal for cardiac troponin T concentration in the cord blood of infants. Relations between cardiac troponin T levels and other variables were investigated. METHODS: Cord blood samples were collected from 242 infants and analysed. Data on gestation, birth weight, sex, Apgar scores, respiratory status, and mode of delivery were recorded. RESULTS: A total of 242 samples were collected, and 215 samples from infants without respiratory distress were used to establish the 95th percentile of 0.050 ng/ml. The gestation of these infants ranged from 31 to 42 weeks and birth weight ranged from 1.4 to 5 kg. There were no relations between cardiac troponin T levels and the other variables in these healthy infants. Twenty seven infants developed respiratory symptoms requiring oxygen and/or ventilation. These infants had significantly higher cord cardiac troponin T levels than their healthy counterparts (median (interquartile range) 0.031 (0.010-0.084) v 0.010 (0.010-0.014) ng/ml respectively; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Cardiac troponin T levels in the cord blood are unaffected by gestation, birth weight, sex, or mode of delivery. Infants with respiratory distress had significantly higher cord cardiac troponin T levels, suggesting that cardiac troponin T may be a useful marker for myocardial damage in neonates.
This article was published in Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology