Use of QT intervals for a more accurate diagnose of syncope and evaluation of syncope severity

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Abstract

Background:

This study aimed to evaluate the use of QT intervals, their diagnostic predictive value in patients with syncope and their relationship with syncope severity.

Methods:

One hundred and forty nine patients with a diagnosis of syncope were admitted to Internal Medicine departments at the University of Palermo, Italy, between 2006 and 2012, and 140 control subjects hospitalised for other causes were enrolled. QT maximum, QT minimum, QTpeak, QT corrected, QT dispersion and Tpeak-to-Tend interval were compared between two groups. The paper medical records were used for scoring with San Francisco Syncope Rule (SFSR), Evaluation of Guidelines in SYncope Study (EGSYS) score and Osservatorio Epidemiologico sulla Sincope nel Lazio (OESIL) risk score.

Results:

Mean QTc (p < 0.0005), mean QTmax (p < 0.0005), mean QTdisp (p < 0.0005), mean QTpeak (p = 0.005) and mean TpTe (p = 0.018) were significantly longer in patients with syncope compared with control subjects. A QTc > 424.8 ms (sensibility: 81.88 – specificity: 57.86) showed the greatest predictive value for diagnosis of syncope. On the EGSYS score and on the OESIL score, QTc was significantly prolonged in high-risk patients compared with low-risk patients. On the San Francisco Syncope Rule, QTc and QTdisp were significantly prolonged in high-risk patients compared with low-risk patients.

Conclusion:

Mean QTc, mean QTdisp, mean TpTe, mean QTmax and mean QTpeak were significantly longer in patients with syncope compared with control subjects. Furthermore, prolonged QTc and QTdisp were associated with major severe syncope according to San Francisco Syncope Rule, EGSYS and OESIL risk scores.

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