Prolongation Prolongation of QTc interval in Iraqi Systemic Lupus Erythematosus patients

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus patients

  • IMJ Iraqi Medical Journal
Keywords: Electrocardiogram, interval



Background: Cardiac arrhythmias in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) patients are critical and fatal. Early detection of arrhythmias using electrocardiogram is vital for prognosis.

Objective: To evaluate corrected QT (QTc) interval in Iraqi patients with SLE. Patients and Methods: A case-controlled study was done at the Baghdad Teaching Hospital - The Medical City. Fifty patients fulfilled the American College of Rheumatology criteria for SLE and 50 matched healthy individual controls were included in the study. A detailed history was taken and physical examination was done for all individuals in both groups including age, gender, body mass index (BMI), duration of illness, type of medication and disease activity measures. An electrocardiogram was done for each patient as well as the healthy individual, and the QT interval was measured; while the heart rate-corrected QT (QTc) was obtained by Bazett's formula (QTc = QT measured / √RR interval). Blood and urine samples were taken from the patients and sent for complete blood picture, general urine examination, serum potassium and calcium as well as for serological markers (Antinuclear antibody, Anti-double-stranded DNA, Anti-Histones, AntiSm, Anti-nuclear RNP, Anti-SS-A (Ro), and Anti-SS-B (La).

Results: This study shows significantly increased QTc interval of patients compared to controls (P = 0.000014). We did not find statistically significant association between the ages of patients, gender, body mass index, duration of illness, blood pressure, current prednisolone, anti-malaria and azathioprine use and the QTc interval. There were neither significant association between the QTc interval and the disease activity; nor a significant association between the QTc interval and serological markers.

Conclusion: SLE patients showed significantly increased QTc interval when compared to controls. The QTc interval measurement may be a simple method for screening SLE patients with increased cardiovascular risk.

Key words:

Electrocardiogram; QTc-interval; systemic lupus erythematosus.


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