Novel, highly sensitive troponin assays have revealed low levels of circulating troponins in individuals with atrial fibrillation that have been associated with increased risk of stroke and death. However, it is not clear whether the troponin release observed in atrial fibrillation is independent of underlying cardiovascular disease. The potential impact of different treatment modalities on troponin levels in atrial fibrillation is largely unknown, and associations between troponins and other biomarkers related to atrial fibrillation pathophysiology are incompletely understood.
In this project Anja Wiedswang Horjen and colleagues used a highly sensitive assay for quantifying levels of Troponin I in three different atrial fibrillation research projects conducted at Bærum Hospital. One of their main findings was that atrial fibrillation was not independently associated with levels of Troponin I. Surprisingly, Troponin I levels were unchanged six months after restoration of sinus rhythm by electrical cardioversion, whereas Troponin I levels were lowered by four rate-reducing drugs. Troponin I correlated weakly to biomarkers related to atrial fibrillation pathophysiology.
This thesis has provided new information on the role of Troponin I in atrial fibrillation, which has clinical relevance as well as implications for future research. The project was a collaboration between Departmentof Medical Research at Bærum Hospital and Clinic for Medical Diagnostics, bothVestre Viken Hospital Trust, and Centre for Clinical Heart Research at Oslo University Hospital Ullevål.