Use of the rate-corrected JT interval for prediction of repolarization abnormalities in children

C I Berul, T L Sweeten, A M Dubin, M J Shah, V L Vetter
American Journal of Cardiology 1994 December 15, 74 (12): 1254-7
A prolonged rate-corrected QT interval (QTc) may be associated with an increased risk of developing ventricular arrhythmias and sudden death, particularly in patients with the hereditary long QT syndrome (LQTS), myocardial ischemia, or antiarrhythmic medication toxicity. It is known that there are some patients with LQTS who sometimes have a borderline or normal QTc (< or = 0.45 second). Although the QTc has been the standard measurement of ventricular repolarization, it includes both depolarization and repolarization and may not always be a sensitive indicator of the type of repolarization abnormalities seen in LQTS. Intraventricular conduction abnormalities complicate evaluation of the QTc interval. The rate-corrected JT interval (JTc) is a more accurate measurement of ventricular repolarization, and therefore may be a more sensitive means of assessing abnormalities. The QTc on a resting electrocardiogram was determined in 40 patients with LQTS and in 31 patients with right bundle branch block after tetralogy of Fallot repair. These were compared with 1,000 age-matched control subjects. The right bundle branch block group had normal JT and JTc measurements, despite having prolonged QT and QTc intervals compared with controls. The JTc identified 85% of patients affected with LQTS compared with only 58% identified using only the QTc as a marker for the syndrome. The JTc is a more specific measurement of ventricular repolarization than the QTc by eliminating QRS duration variability. It appears to be a more sensitive predictor of repolarization abnormalities, and may be helpful in identifying patients with LQTS who have borderline or normal QTc measurements on resting electrocardiograms.

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