Prevalence and Risk Factors of Prolonged Corrected QT Interval Among Children and Adolescents Treated With Antipsychotic Medications: A Long-Term Follow-Up in a Real-World Population

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This study aimed to describe the prevalence of corrected QT (QTc) interval disorders and the possible predisposing factors in children and adolescents treated with antipsychotic (AP) medications in a real-world population with a long-term follow-up.


Data were obtained from the SafEty of NeurolepTics in Infancy and Adolescence (SENTIA) registry ( The SENTIA includes patients younger than 18 years who are currently taking or initiating treatment with AP medications and have agreed to participate in the registry. The SENTIA's follow-up includes an electrocardiogram (ECG) assessment before starting treatment and at 1, 3, and 6 months after treatment initiation or after any changes in the patient's AP medication treatment. Thereafter, all participants undergo an ECG every 6 months. A QTc interval more than 450 milliseconds, increases in QTc interval of 60 milliseconds or more, or QTc dispersion more than 100 milliseconds were considered abnormal.


Since January 1, 2011, 101 patients have been enrolled in SENTIA and have had at least 1 ECG assessment. The mean age at inclusion was 11.5 years; 75% of the patients were men. The mean follow-up time was 20.0 ± 15.1 months. The most frequently prescribed AP medications were risperidone (52.2%) and aripiprazole (45.5%). Seven patients (6.9%) had abnormal changes in QTc. No patient had a QTc interval more than 500 milliseconds. All patients were asymptomatic. The QTc changes were observed at different times of exposure, with a range of 1 to 39 months after beginning AP treatment. Concomitant use of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder drugs seemed a possible factor associated with QTc disorders.


Patients should undergo a baseline ECG assessment before starting AP medication treatment, particularly patients with concomitant use of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder drugs or a family/personal history of heart disease.

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