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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Multivariate analysis of risk factors for QT prolongation following subarachnoid hemorrhage

Shinji Fukui, Hiroshi Katoh, Nobusuke Tsuzuki, Shoichiro Ishihara, Naoki Otani, Hidetoshi Ooigawa, Terushige Toyooka, Akira Ohnuki, Takahito Miyazawa, Hiroshi Nawashiro, Katsuji Shima
Critical Care: the Official Journal of the Critical Care Forum 2003, 7 (3): R7-R12
12793884

BACKGROUND: Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) often causes a prolongation of the corrected QT (QTc) interval during the acute phase. The aim of the present study was to examine independent risk factors for QTc prolongation in patients with SAH by means of multivariate analysis.

METHOD: We studied 100 patients who were admitted within 24 hours after onset of SAH. Standard 12-lead electrocardiography (ECG) was performed immediately after admission. QT intervals were measured from the ECG and were corrected for heart rate using the Bazett formula. We measured serum levels of sodium, potassium, calcium, adrenaline (epinephrine), noradrenaline (norepinephrine), dopamine, antidiuretic hormone, and glucose.

RESULTS: The average QTc interval was 466 +/- 46 ms. Patients were categorized into two groups based on the QTc interval, with a cutoff line of 470 ms. Univariate analyses showed significant relations between categories of QTc interval, and sex and serum concentrations of potassium, calcium, or glucose. Multivariate analyses showed that female sex and hypokalemia were independent risk factors for severe QTc prolongation. Hypokalemia (<3.5 mmol/l) was associated with a relative risk of 4.53 for severe QTc prolongation as compared with normokalemia, while the relative risk associated with female sex was 4.45 as compared with male sex. There was a significant inverse correlation between serum potassium levels and QTc intervals among female patients.

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that female sex and hypokalemia are independent risk factors for severe QTc prolongation in patients with SAH.

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