Influence of Spinal Anesthesia on Corrected QT Interval


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Abstract

Background and Objectives:Prolongation of the QT interval may result in grave cardiac arrhythmias, polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (“torsades de pointes”), and ventricular fibrillation. We assessed the influence of spinal anesthesia on the QTc interval and the potential arrhythmogenicity of this method of anesthesia.Methods:Assessment was performed in 20 male unpremedicated patients, I or II American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status, who underwent spinal anesthesia for elective surgical procedures. Values of the QTc interval, heart rate, and arterial pressure were measured before spinal anesthesia as well as after 1, 3, 5, and 15 minutes of adequate blockade.Results:Statistically significant lengthening of the QTc interval (compared with initial values) was observed in the first minute after blockade and in subsequent measurements. No differences were observed between mean values of the QTc interval after the onset of blockade. No significant changes in heart rate were noted. From the third minute on, significant decreases of the systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressure were observed as compared with baseline. These decreases in systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressure persisted for the entire study duration. No one patient developed clinically important cardiac arrhythmias.Conclusions:Spinal anesthesia provokes significant QTc interval prolongation in patients without cardiovascular disorders.

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