Effect of Age and Sex on the QTc Interval in Children and Adolescents With Type 1 and 2 Long-QT Syndrome

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Abstract

Background—

In congenital long-QT syndrome, age, sex, and genotype have been associated with cardiac events, but their effect on the trend in QTc interval has never been established. We, therefore, aimed to assess the effect of age and sex on the QTc interval in children and adolescents with type 1 (LQT1) and type 2 (LQT2) long-QT syndrome.

Methods and Results—

QTc intervals of 12-lead resting electrocardiograms were determined, and trends over time were analyzed using a linear mixed-effects model. The study included 278 patients with a median follow-up of 4 years (interquartile range, 1–9) and a median number of 6 (interquartile range, 2–10) electrocardiograms per patient. Both LQT1 and LQT2 male patients showed QTc interval shortening after the onset of puberty. In LQT2 male patients, this was preceded by a progressive QTc interval prolongation. In LQT1, after the age of 12 years, male patients had a significantly shorter QTc interval than female patients. In LQT2, during the first years of life and from 14 to 26 years, male patients had a significantly shorter QTc interval than female patients. On the contrary, between 5 and 14 years, LQT2 male patients had significantly longer QTc interval than LQT2 female patients.

Conclusions—

There is a significant effect of age and sex on the QTc interval in long-QT syndrome, with a unique pattern per genotype. The age of 12 to 14 years is an important transitional period. In the risk stratification and management of long-QT syndrome patients, clinicians should be aware of these age-, sex-, and genotype-related trends in QTc interval and especially the important role of the onset of puberty.

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