Elevated High-Sensitivity Troponin and NT-proBNP Values in Febrile Children

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Objectives The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent rise of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children have raised interest in high-sensitivity troponin (hs-TnT) and N-terminal probrain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) because these have been found to be elevated in many cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. Our aim was to study hs-TnT and NT-proBNP concentrations in febrile children not affected by COVID-19. Methods We retrospectively measured cardiac markers, hs-TnT, and NT-proBNP in leftover blood samples of febrile children (0-18 years) diagnosed and treated in a single-center emergency department (ED) (N = 67) and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) (N = 19) that participated in a multicenter, prospective study of infection biomarkers (PERFORM). Results Concentrations of hs-TnT, median 1.8 ng/L (interquartile range [IQR], 0.0-15.1), and NT-proBNP, 194 pg/mL (IQR, 54.9-706), were higher in febrile children than in controls (N = 25, hs-TnT 0.0 [IQR, 0-0]; NT-proBNP 56.3 [IQR, 29.7-109], both P < 0.001), whereas PICU patients had higher concentrations (hs-TnT 15.1 [IQR, 10.3-102] and NT-proBNP 828 [IQR, 657-4712], both P < 0.001) than ED patients (hs-TnT 0 [IQR, 0-7.4] and NT-proBNP 104 [IQR, 39.5-363]). No differences were found between viral and bacterial infections. Highest concentrations were found in children with either comorbidity predisposing to elevated concentrations (eg, chronic cardiac or renal disease) or children with critical illness or multiorgan failure such as those with septic shock. Conclusions Concentrations of hs-TnT and NT-proBNP are often elevated in febrile children with different causes of fever. Concentrations were higher in children admitted to the PICU than in children attending the ED, and seem to reflect disease severity rather than the underlying cause of fever.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-113
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024

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