QT prolongation and dispersion in myocardial ischemia and infarction.
The ability of QT interval dispersion to predict the occurrence of ventricular fibrillation (VF) after acute myocardial infarction treated with thrombolytic therapy is controversial. Continuous 12-lead electrocardiographic (ECG) monitoring for 48 hours or longer provides an opportunity to detect transient changes of QT dispersion and correlate such changes with the clinical outcome. In 543 consecutive patients enrolled in the TAMI-9 and GUSTO I studies, serial changes of the QT dispersion were analyzed in an attempt to predict the occurrence of VF with a system that monitored continuously the 12-lead ECG and stored it at least every 20 minutes. Measurements of QT dispersion were made at a median time of 2.37 hours after the onset of chest pain and at 24- and 48-hour intervals. A total of 43 patients experienced VF during the acute phase of myocardial infarction; of these patients, 33 (77%) had anterior infarcts. However, despite the higher preponderance of anterior myocardial infarcts in the VF group, patients with anterior infarcts did not have longer QT dispersion than those with other infarct locations. Similarly, no significant differences in the QT dispersion were observed at any time between the group with VF and that without. Women had increased QT dispersion in the initial and 24-hour ECG as compared with men (P = .005). However, this normalized at the 48-hour measurements. Despite this difference, there was no higher incidence of VF in female patients. In conclusion, the data suggest that QT dispersion alone is not sufficient to explain the occurrence of VF in the acute phase of myocardial infarction after thrombolytic therapy.
Tomassoni, G; Pisanó, E; Gardner, L; Krucoff, MW; Natale, A
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