Cardiac-specific troponins in uncomplicated pregnancy and pre-eclampsia: A systematic review
Dockree S., Brook J., Shine B., James T., Green L., Vatish M.
<jats:sec id="sec001"> <jats:title>Background</jats:title> <jats:p>The risk of myocardial infarction (MI) increases during pregnancy, particularly in women with pre-eclampsia. MI is diagnosed by measuring high blood levels of cardiac-specific troponin (cTn), although this may be elevated in women with pre-eclampsia without MI, which increases diagnostic uncertainty. It is unclear how much cTn is elevated in uncomplicated and complicated pregnancy, which may affect whether the existing reference intervals can be used in pregnant women. Previous reviews have not investigated high-sensitivity troponin in pregnancy, compared to older, less sensitive methods.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec id="sec002"> <jats:title>Methods</jats:title> <jats:p>Electronic searches using the terms “troponin I” or “troponin T”, and “pregnancy”, “pregnancy complications” or “obstetrics”. cTn levels were extracted from studies of women with uncomplicated pregnancies or pre-eclampsia.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec id="sec003"> <jats:title>Results</jats:title> <jats:p>The search identified ten studies with 1581 women. Eight studies used contemporary methods that may be too insensitive to use reliably in this clinical setting. Two studies used high-sensitivity assays, with one reporting an elevation in troponin I (TnI) in pre-eclampsia compared to uncomplicated pregnancy, and the other only examining women with pre-eclampsia.</jats:p> <jats:p>Seven studies compared cTn between women with pre-eclampsia or uncomplicated pregnancy using any assay. Seven studies showed elevated TnI in pre-eclampsia compared to uncomplicated pregnancy or non-pregnant women. One study measured troponin T (TnT) in pregnancy but did not examine pre-eclampsia.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec id="sec004"> <jats:title>Conclusion</jats:title> <jats:p>TnI appears to be elevated in pre-eclampsia, irrespective of methodology, which may reflect the role of cardiac stress in this condition. TnI may be similar in healthy pregnant and non-pregnant women, but we found no literature reporting pregnancy-specific reference intervals using high-sensitivity tests. This limits broader application of cTn in pregnancy. There is a need to define reference intervals for cTn in pregnant women, which should involve serial sampling throughout pregnancy, with careful consideration for gestational age and body mass index, which cause dynamic changes in normal maternal physiology.</jats:p> </jats:sec>