QT interval and QT dispersion in multiple system atrophy (Shy-Drager syndrome)
Abstract To evaluate the influence of autonomic function on the QT interval and QT dispersion, 18 patients (10 males and 8 females; mean age 61±9 years) with multiple system atrophy (MSA, Shy-Drager syndrome) were studied. Cardiovascular tests were performed to assess the degree of autonomic dysfunction. The QT interval, corrected QT (QTc), QT dispersion (QTd), corrected and adjusted QTd were calculated from a standard 12-lead electrocardiogram. Fifteen healthy subjects matched for sex and age were studied as controls. Nine MSA patients showed severe autonomic dysfunction with orthostatic hypotension. In the remaining patients definite autonomic impairment was found. No statistically significant difference was found in QTd and only a trend towards higher values of maximal QTc was found in patients compared with controls. QTc prolongation, defined as greater than the mean±2 SD of the controls, was detected only in three out of the 18 MSA patients (17%). No correlation was found between the severity of autonomic impairment and repolarization parameters. Our data suggest that chronic autonomic impairment in patients with MSA does not significantly affect ventricular repolarization and ventricular dispersion.
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