Cardiac Electrophysiology Review

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 289–294

QTc Interval in the Assessment of Cardiac Risk

  • Hanne Elming
  • Bente Brendorp
  • Lars Køber
  • Najia Sahebzadah
  • Christian Torp-Petersen
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1016345412555

Cite this article as:
Elming, H., Brendorp, B., Køber, L. et al. Card Electrophysiol Rev (2002) 6: 289. doi:10.1023/A:1016345412555

Abstract

In the United States alone 300,000–400,000 people die of sudden cardiac death every year. Muchof this mortality is assumed to be caused by ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Prolonged QTc reflect cardiacrepolarization prolongation and/or increased repolarization inhomogenity known to be associated withincreased risk of arrhythmias. The paper gives a review of the possibilities to assess the risk ofventricular arrhythmia and/or cardiac death from QTc. Prolonged QTc may hold independent prognosticimportance for mortality in common diseases as ischemic heart disease and diabetes mellitus where as theprognostic importance in heart failure and arterial hypertension is more uncertain. In more rare diseases asthe inborn long QT syndrome the QT interval gives not only important hint to the diagnosis but the magnitudealso provides information on prognosis. QTc has probably no independent prognostic importance in hypertrophiccardiomyopathy or in the arrhythmogenic right ventricular disease. The degree of QTc prolonging duringtreatment with QTc prolonging drugs is prognostic for the risk of ventricular arrhythmia in form of torsadede pointes and QTc prolonging drugs should probably not be prescribed for patients with a QTc greater than460 ms and withdrawn if QTc exceeds 500 ms during treatment. Data from the DIAMOND study suggest that QTc canbe used to point out those heart failure patients who will benefit from antiarrhythmic therapy.

QT intervalmortalitycardiac riskarrhythmiatorsade de pointes

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanne Elming
    • 1
  • Bente Brendorp
    • 2
  • Lars Køber
    • 1
  • Najia Sahebzadah
    • 3
  • Christian Torp-Petersen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of CardiologyRigshospitalet Heart CenterCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Department of CardiologyGentofte University HospitalCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Department of CardiologyGlostrup University HospitalGlostrupDenmark