It has been suggested that troponins and natriuretic peptides can be falsely elevated in subjects with impaired kidney function because of decreased renal clearance. The value of these biomarkers in subjects with impaired kidney function has therefore been debated. We tested in a population-based cohort study, first, whether high-sensitive troponin T (hsTnT) and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) levels are cross-sectionally associated with the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and albuminuria, and secondly, whether these markers are associated with cardiovascular outcome, independent of eGFR, albuminuria and conventional cardiovascular risk factors.
We included 8121 subjects from the PREVEND study with both values of hsTnT and NT-pro-BNP available. High-sensitive troponin T 0.01 g/L and NT-pro-BNP 125 ng/L were defined as elevated. We first performed linear regression analyses with hsTnT and NT-pro-BNP as dependent variables. Next, we performed Cox-regression analyses, studying the associations of hsTnT and NT-pro-BNP with incident cardiovascular events. Of our cohort, 6.7 had an elevated hsTnT and 12.2 an elevated NT-pro-BNP. Also, the estimated glomerular filtration rate, albuminuria, and ECG-assessed ischaemia and left ventricular hypertrophy were all significantly associated with hsTnT and NT-pro-BNP in the linear regression analyses. Both hsTnT and NT-pro-BNP appeared associated with cardiovascular events, and these associations remained significant after adjustment for eGFR, albuminuria, age, gender and conventional cardiovascular risk factors (P 0.03 and P 0.001, respectively). Only a few subjects with markedly reduced renal function were included. The results presented are therefore mainly valid for a population with mildly impaired renal function.
These data indicate that a finding of an increased hsTnT or NT-pro-BNP in subjects with chronic kidney disease stages 1/3 should be taken seriously as a prognostic marker for a worse cardiovascular outcome and not be discarded as merely a reflection of decreased renal clearance.