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INTRODUCTION: The vulnerability of pediatric myocardium to ischemia is poorly documented in the clinical setting. METHODS: Serial measurements of serum concentrations of myoglobin, the MB isoenzyme of creatine kinase, and cardiac troponins T and I and their respective areas under the curve were obtained, with particular reference to age and ischemic time, in 80 children undergoing cardiac operations. Sixteen (the control group) did not require cardiopulmonary bypass and 64 did. RESULTS: In the control group there were increases (p < 0.01) in myoglobin and creatine kinase MB isoenzyme but no increase in cardiac troponin T or I; by contrast, the group treated with cardiopulmonary bypass had significant increases in all four markers but with differing temporal patterns. Younger age (especially < 12 months) was a highly significant explanatory variable only for the release of cardiac troponins T and I, and ischemic time was a significant explanatory variable for the release of creatine kinase MB isoenzyme, cardiac troponins T and I, but not myoglobin. In comparison with previous studies in adults, creatine kinase MB and cardiac troponin T concentrations were three times greater in children than in adults. CONCLUSIONS: This study supports the specificity of cardiac troponins T and I as markers of myocardial injury after pediatric cardiac operations and defines the importance of age and ischemic time in determining their release. In comparison with previous data in adults, our results raise the possibility that the pediatric heart may be more vulnerable to the effects of ischemia and reperfusion. Cardiac troponins will permit comparison of new myocardial protective strategies or other potentially therapeutic myocardial interventions.

Original publication




Journal article


J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg

Publication Date





728 - 735


Adult, Age Factors, Biomarkers, Cardiopulmonary Bypass, Child, Preschool, Creatine Kinase, Heart Defects, Congenital, Humans, Infant, Isoenzymes, Myocardial Ischemia, Myocardial Reperfusion Injury, Myoglobin, Reproducibility of Results, Sensitivity and Specificity, Time Factors, Troponin