Kavsak PA, Hammarsten O, Worster A, Smith SW, Apple FS
Clin Chem 67 (1) 107-113 [2020-10-12; online 2020-10-12]
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that emerged late in 2019 causing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease-2019) may adversely affect the cardiovascular system. Publications from Asia, Europe and North America have identified cardiac troponin as an important prognostic indicator for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. We recognized from publications within the first 6 months of the pandemic that there has been much uncertainty on the reporting, interpretation, and pathophysiology of an increased cardiac troponin concentration in this setting. The purpose of this mini-review is: a) to review the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2 and the cardiovascular system, b) to overview the strengths and weaknesses of selected studies evaluating cardiac troponin in patients with COVID-19, and c) recommend testing strategies in the acute period, in the convalescence period and in long-term care for patients who have become ill with COVID-19. This review provides important educational information and identifies gaps in understanding the role of cardiac troponin and COVID-19. Future, properly designed studies will hopefully provide the much-needed evidence on the path forward in testing cardiac troponin in patients with COVID-19.