interval prolongation in patients with cirrhosis
Background: Patients with liver failure have an increased incidence of a prolonged QTc interval which is associated with increased morbidity. The etiology of the increase in QTc interval is unknown. We looked for a correlation between the QTc interval and three possible contributors: estradiol, progesterone and hyperventilation.
Methods: Arterial blood gases, estradiol, progesterone, and electrolytes were obtained from 50 patients with cirrhosis presenting for possible liver transplantation. QTc and QT dispersion were measured on electrocardiograms from the patients and age and sex matched with controls.
Results: The male and female patients with cirrhosis had an increase in QTc compared to controls. There was no increase in QT dispersion in the patients. There was no correlation between QTc interval and estradiol or progesterone. However, there was a negative correlation between the QTc interval and PaCO2 in male patients.
Conclusion: Our results raise the possibility that hyperventilation contributes to the prolonged QTc interval found in patients with cirrhosis.
Keywords: QTc interval, electrocardiogram, cirrhosis, estradiol, progesterone, hyperventilation
Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology 9: 13-17, 2000
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