The strength of the association between cardiac biomarker release and prognosis is uncertain. We performed a systematic literature search to find articles regarding these markers and death after coronary surgical interventions, and evaluated the results with meta-analytic methods. We found 23 articles concerning 29,483 patients that reported the MB fraction of creatine kinase (CK-MB) and troponin T and I. Heterogeneity of existing studies prevented the pooling of the results of troponin studies. The pooled data of the CK-MB studies suggest that after coronary artery bypass grafting, CK-MB release of more than five to eight times the upper limit of the reference range is associated with an increased risk of death during the next 40 months.