QT Interval Measurement: Evaluation of Automatic QTc Measurement and New Simple Method to Calculate and Interpret Corrected QT Interval

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Background:Assessment of repolarization duration is often recommended to avoid administration of QT-prolonging drugs in patients with prolonged QTc interval, a frequent situation in the postoperative period. Bazett QT correction inappropriately increases QTc when heart rate is increased, and the use of the Fridericia formula may avoid a falsely prolonged QTc interval. The authors assessed automatic QT interval measurement to detect prolonged QTc interval (women >450 ms; men >440 ms) in the postoperative setting.Methods:Automatic and manual electrocardiograms were performed in 108 patients after anesthesia. Automatic electrocardiographic measurement used the Bazett formula. Manual measurements were made from each electrocardiogram and used as the reference. Agreement between the two methods was analyzed. Bazett and Fridericia QT corrections were compared in this population.Results:Agreement between automatic and manual measurements was low. The Fridericia correction, but not the Bazett correction, was independent from heart rate and allowed adequate QT correction. Sensitivity of automatic measurements to detect prolonged QTc-Bazett interval was 54%. Automatic QTc-Bazett interval less than 430 ms ruled out a manual prolonged QTc interval. When automatic QTc-Bazett was greater than 430 ms, this value was converted according to Fridericia. Automatic QTc-Fridericia greater than 430 ms identified all patients with prolonged manual QTc with a negative predictive error of 0% (95% confidence interval, 0–7%). QTc-Fridericia can be approximated by respectively adding or subtracting 5% to the uncorrected QT for each increase or decrease by 10 beats/min in heart rate from 60 beats/min.Conclusions:Automatic QTc-Bazett measurement, if abnormal, associated with calculation of QTc-Fridericia reliably identifies patients in whom manual QTc measurement must be performed to confirm postoperative prolonged QTc interval.

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