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QT and P wave dispersion and heart rate variability in patients with Dravet syndrome

Abstract

SCN1A mutations are found in up to 80 % of patients with Dravet syndrome (DS), and the sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) rate is higher in DS than in most forms of severe epilepsy. The aim of this study is to examine the autonomic cardiac function and the risk of arrhythmia in DS patients by evaluating QT and P wave dispersion and heart rate variability (HRV) using standard electrocardiography (ECG) and 24-h ECG. The study group consisted of 15 patients (9 boys and 6 girls aged 3.5–17 years) who were genetically diagnosed with DS. The control group comprised 20 healthy subjects, 13 boys and 7 girls aged 4–17 years. P wave dispersion (44.6 ± 3.5 ms), QT dispersion (58.8 ± 7.5 ms) and QTc dispersion (70.8 ± 7.4 ms) were significantly higher in DS patients as compared to the control group (p < 0.001 for all values). However, there was no significant difference in PR, QT or QTc length between the groups. 24-h Holter ECG showed that all HRV parameters were significantly lower in patients with DS. The decreased HRV and increased P wave and QT dispersion seen in DS patients are important signs of autonomic dysfunction with increased adrenergic tone. To determine whether autonomic dysfunction is correlated with SUDEP in DS, long-term electrocardiographic monitoring and wider prospective studies are necessary.

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Correspondence to Baris Ekici.

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Ergul, Y., Ekici, B., Tatli, B. et al. QT and P wave dispersion and heart rate variability in patients with Dravet syndrome. Acta Neurol Belg 113, 161–166 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13760-012-0140-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13760-012-0140-z

Keywords

  • Dravet syndrome
  • QT dispersion
  • P wave dispersion
  • Heart rate variability
  • Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy