Context: Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a common cause of toxicological morbidity and mortality. Myocardial injury is a frequent consequence of moderate to severe CO poisoning. While the in-hospital mortality for these patients is low, the long-term outcome of myocardial injury in this setting is unknown. Objective: To determine the association between myocardial injury and long-term mortality in patients following moderate to severe CO poisoning. Design, Setting, and Participants: Prospective cohort study of 230 consecutive adult patients treated for moderate to severe CO poisoning with hyperbaric oxygen and admitted to the Hennepin County Medical Center, a regional center for treatment of CO poisoning, between January 1, 1994, and January 1, 2002. Follow-up was through November 11, 2005. Main Outcome Measure: All-cause mortality. Results: Myocardial injury (cardiac troponin I level ≥0.7 ng/mL or creatine kinase-MB level ≥5.0 ng/mL and/or diagnostic electrocardiogram changes) occurred in 85 (37%) of 230 patients. At a median follow-up of 7.6 years (range: in-hospital only to 11.8 years), there were 54 deaths (24%). Twelve of those deaths (5%) occurred in the hospital as a result of a combination of burn injury and anoxic brain injury (n=8) or cardiac arrest and anoxic brain injury (n=4). Among the 85 patients who sustained myocardial injury from CO poisoning, 32 (38%) eventually died compared with 22 (15%) of 145 patients who did not sustain myocardial injury (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-3.7; P=.009). Conclusion: Myocardial injury occurs frequently in patients hospitalized for moderate to severe CO poisoning and is a significant predictor of mortality.
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