Value of Routine Troponin Measurement in Open Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair

Cole C. Pickney*, Casey C. Kuka, Kogulan Nadesakumaran, Ahmed A. Sorour, Paul C. Cremer, Steven R. Insler, Francis J. Caputo, Levester Kirksey, Jarrad W. Rowse, Sean P. Steenberge, Jon G. Quatromoni, Sean P. Lyden, Christopher J. Smolock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cardiovascular complications are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the postoperative period after major vascular surgery. Depending on the study population, up to 25% of patients have troponin elevation after noncardiac surgery, yet many do not meet the diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI). Although outcomes of routine troponin elevation in patients undergoing mixed major vascular surgery have been evaluated, this has not been studied exclusively in elective, open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (oAAA), especially regarding perioperative and overall mortality. Methods: We conducted a single-center, retrospective review of routine troponin surveillance for consecutive, oAAA from 2014 to 2019. A total of 319 patients were identified and analyzed for management patterns and interventions. The cohort was stratified into groups for comparison based on those in whom troponin was routinely checked (RC) as part of a care strategy during the study period, not routinely checked (NRC), elevated troponin (ET) >0.001 ng/mL, and not elevated. The median follow-up was 21.5 ± 23.8 months. Groups were compared on demographic data, cardiac comorbidities, 30-day and 3-year outcomes for MI and death using two-sample t-tests, Wilcoxon rank sum tests, Pearson chi-square tests, and Fisher exact tests when appropriate. Results: Troponin was measured in 83.7% (267/319) of patients who underwent elective oAAA repair. Routine troponin checks were obtained in 79.9% (255/319) of patients. ET was identified in 16.5% of those with RC (42/255) and 4.7% of those with NRC (3/64). Of patients with ET, 37.8% (17/45) had a cardiology consultation, 4.4% (2/45) had a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), and 4.4% (2/45) had another cardiac intervention. All 4 patients undergoing PCI or other cardiac intervention had received routine troponin checks. Patients with ET were older (71.2 vs. 68.6; P = 0.04), more likely to receive intraoperative blood products (P = 0.003), had longer operative times (P = 0.011), higher length of stay (9 vs. 7 days; P < 0.01), and higher 30-day MI rate (3 vs. 0; P = 0.04). They had neither longer aortic clamp times nor worse preoperative cardiac function, and the proximal clamp position during oAAA repair did not impact troponin detection. Additionally, 3-year overall mortality was increased in patients who had ET but there was not a significant difference in 3-year mortality between groups receiving routine troponin checks versus not. Conclusions: ET, identified after elective oAAA repair, was associated with a higher risk of 30-day MI and lower overall survival. However, it was not demonstrated that routine assessment of troponin levels postoperatively leads to decreased 3-year mortality in this setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-175
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of vascular surgery
StatePublished - Oct 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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