Diagnosis and Diagnostic Modalities in Pediatric Patients with Elevated Troponin

Harris, T. H.; Gossett, J. G.

Pediatr Cardiol. 2016 Aug 31; 37(8):1469-1474


Care of adults with coronary artery disease focuses on troponins to rapidly move patients to catheterization. Troponins are increasingly drawn in children, but emergent catheterization may not be indicted. We sought to establish etiologies of troponin elevation and ascertain the yield of diagnostic tests, in this population. Retrospective review of patients from January 1, 2002, to December 31, 2011, who had any elevated troponin during the study period. Patients were excluded for recent cardiac surgery, "significant" congenital heart disease, if they were neonates in the NICU or were on ECMO. Twenty-four patients made up our study group: 17/24 (71 %) had myocarditis or cardiomyopathy. Three had coronary-related diagnoses: 1 ALCAPA and 2 Kawasaki syndrome. The most useful testing for making or confirming the diagnoses included ECG, CXR and ECHO. Fourteen had right heart catheterization which was useful in 10/14. Nine had MRI which was useful in 7/9 (all five cases of suspected myocarditis). Left heart catheterization was completed in 10/24 cases, but in no case made or changed the diagnosis. This study confirms that children with elevated troponins differ from adults. The most common cause is myocarditis or cardiomyopathy, whereas coronary-related ischemia is rare. Diagnosis with ECG, CXR and ECHO is typically adequate. Focused use of right heart catheterization and MRI may be useful. In pediatric patients with elevated troponins, left heart catheterization and coronary angiography should be reserved for a highly selective group, and adult "door-to-balloon time" protocols should not be applied routinely.

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