Prevalence, Risk Factors and In-hospital Outcomes of QTc Interval Prolongation in Liver Cirrhosis

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Abstract

Background

QTc interval prolongation is an electrocardiographic abnormality in liver cirrhosis. The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence, risk factors and in-hospital outcomes of QTc interval prolongation in Chinese patients with liver cirrhosis.

Methods

This was a retrospective analysis of a total of 1,268 patients with liver cirrhosis who were consecutively admitted to our hospital between January 2011 and June 2014. QTc interval data were collected from the medical records. QTc interval prolongation was defined as QTc interval > 440 milliseconds.

Results

The prevalence of QTc interval prolongation was 38.2% (485 of 1268). In the entire cohort, the risk factors for QTc interval prolongation included an older age, a higher proportion of alcohol abuse and ascites, higher bilirubin, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, prothrombin time, international normalized ratio, Child-Pugh score and model for end-stage liver diseases score, and lower red blood cell (RBC), hemoglobin (Hb), albumin (ALB), alanine aminotransferase and calcium. The in-hospital mortality was not significantly different between patients with and without QTc interval prolongation (2.1% versus 1.3%, P = 0.276). In the subgroup analyses of patients with hepatitis B virus or alcohol alone–related liver cirrhosis, the risk factors included higher bilirubin, creatinine, prothrombin time, international normalized ratio, Child-Pugh score and model for end-stage liver diseases score, and lower RBC, Hb and ALB. In the subgroups analyses of patients with acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding or ascites, the risk factors included lower RBC, Hb and ALB.

Conclusions

QTc interval prolongation was frequent in liver cirrhosis. Although QTc interval prolongation was positively associated with alcohol-related liver cirrhosis and more severe liver dysfunction, it did not significantly influence the in-hospital mortality.

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