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VOLUME 24 , ISSUE 4 ( April, 2020 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

An Observational Study of QTc Prolongation in Critically Ill Patients: Identification of Incidence and Predictors

Shadi Baniasadi, Seyyed R Seyyedi, Mehdi Rajabi

Keywords : Critically ill patient, Intensive care unit, QTc prolongation

Citation Information : Baniasadi S, Seyyedi SR, Rajabi M. An Observational Study of QTc Prolongation in Critically Ill Patients: Identification of Incidence and Predictors. Indian J Crit Care Med 2020; 24 (4):270-275.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23411

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-08-2019

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2020; The Author(s).


Aims: Despite the importance of abnormal QTc interval values in intensive care unit (ICU) patients, there is a paucity of information on this topic. The current study was designed to identify the incidence and predictors of QTc prolongation in medical (M), surgical (S), and emergency (E) ICUs. Materials and methods: A prospective observational study was conducted for 6 months. Patients more than 18 years old who admitted to MICU, SICU, and EICU were included in the study. Electrocardiogram (ECG) was taken on day 1, 3, and 5 of ICU admission. The QTc intervals >460 ms in male and >470 ms in female and increased >60 ms above baseline were considered QTc prolongation. Comparative analysis was done between two groups of patients (normal vs prolonged QTc). Logistic regression models were carried out to determine the predictors of QTc prolongation. Results: Incidence of QTc prolongation was 6.5, 9.8, and 15.7% on day 1, 3, and 5 of ICU admission, respectively. On day 1, the history of alcohol addiction and the reason of ICU admission were associated with a prolonged QTc. A significant association was demonstrated between administration of azithromycin and QTc prolongation on day 3. High serum creatinine and hospitalization in EICU were predictors of QTc prolongation on day 5 of ICU admission. Conclusion: The QTc prolongation is relatively common among patients admitted to ICUs and its incidence increases with increasing length of hospital stay. Predictors of QTc prolongation may be affected by the duration of ICU admission. Physicians should consider these predictors particularly before prescribing QTc-prolonging drugs.

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