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QT prolongation is known to be associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular death.1,2 A high prevalence of QT prolongation has been reported in heart failure, but whether it is related to the severity of left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) or poor prognosis remains controversial.3,4
The Euro heart failure survey was conducted to discover whether appropriate tests were being performed according to European Society of Cardiology guidelines in patients hospitalised with or suspected to have heart failure.5 Data from 12 lead ECGs of these patients were used to evaluate whether QT interval is prolonged in LVSD and whether the degree of QT prolongation is related to the severity of LVSD.
Data were collected from 11 356 patients with or suspected to have heart failure in 115 hospitals across 24 European countries over six weeks during 2000–2001. For this analysis we considered 5934 patients who had both ECG and an echocardiogram. A single observer, blinded to other data, measured ECG intervals to an accuracy of 0.1 mm (2–4 ms) with digital callipers (ABSolute digimatic, Mitutoyo). QT variables were measured from three non-infarct chest or limb leads and averaged. Co-workers reread and validated 400 ECGs. Bazett’s method of correction for heart rate was used.
Local cardiologists reported echocardiograms in the …
Conflicting interests: none