Patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage experience myocardial injury at the time of rupture, but its effect on functional recovery and disability is unclear.


To describe the prevalence of myocardial injury, as indicated by high serum levels of cardiac troponin I (≥0.3 ng/mL), within the first 5 days after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage and the effect of the injury on 3-month functional recovery and disability.


In a prospective longitudinal study, 239 patients with Hunt/Hess grade 3 or greater and/or Fisher grade 2 or greater at admission had serum level of troponin I measured on days 0 to 5. Patients were interviewed at 3 months to evaluate functional recovery (Glasgow Outcome Scale) and functional disability (Modified Rankin Scale). Statistics included χ2  analysis, t tests, and binary logistic regression.


Troponin values were elevated in 33.5% of the patients, and few patients in either group had a history of coronary artery disease (7.4% with troponin levels ≤ 0.3 ng/mL vs 2.7% with levels <0.3 ng/mL, P = .12). Higher troponin levels were significantly related to age and Hunt/Hess and Fisher grades, but not race, and were significantly associated with poorer functional recovery (P < .001) and more functional disability (P < .001). Even after controls for age, race, and more severe Hunt/Hess grades, higher levels remained a significant predictor of poorer functional recovery (P = .04) and disability (P = .01).


Elevated levels of cardiac troponin I after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage are common in patients with no cardiac history, are associated with severity of the hemorrhage, and are independently predictive of poorer functional recovery and increased disability.

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