Background Short-term variability of the QT interval (STVQT) has been proposed as a novel electrophysiological marker for the prediction of imminent ventricular arrhythmias in animal models. Our aim is to study whether STVQT can predict imminent ventricular arrhythmias in patients. Methods and Results In 2331 patients with primary prophylactic implantable cardioverter defibrillators, 24-hour ECG Holter recordings were obtained as part of the EU-CERT-ICD (European Comparative Effectiveness Research to Assess the Use of Primary Prophylactic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators) study. ECG Holter recordings showing ventricular arrhythmias of >4 consecutive complexes were selected for the arrhythmic groups (n=170), whereas a control group was randomly selected from the remaining Holter recordings (n=37). STVQT was determined from 31 beats with fiducial segment averaging and calculated as [Formula: see text], where Dn represents the QT interval. STVQT was determined before the ventricular arrhythmia or 8:00 am in the control group and between 1:30 and 4:30 am as baseline. STVQT at baseline was 0.84±0.47 ms and increased to 1.18±0.74 ms (P<0.05) before the ventricular arrhythmia, whereas the STVQT in the control group remained unchanged. The arrhythmic patients were divided into three groups based on the severity of the arrhythmia: (1) nonsustained ventricular arrhythmia (n=32), (2) nonsustained ventricular tachycardia (n=134), (3) sustained ventricular tachycardia (n=4). STVQT increased before nonsustained ventricular arrhythmia, nonsustained ventricular tachycardia, and sustained ventricular tachycardia from 0.80±0.43 ms to 1.18±0.78 ms (P<0.05), from 0.90±0.49 ms to 1.14±0.70 ms (P<0.05), and from 1.05±0.22 ms to 2.33±1.25 ms (P<0.05). This rise in STVQT was significantly higher in sustained ventricular tachycardia compared with nonsustained ventricular arrhythmia (+1.28±1.05 ms versus +0.24±0.57 ms [P<0.05]) and compared with nonsustained ventricular arrhythmia (+0.34±0.87 ms [P<0.05]). Conclusions STVQT increases before imminent ventricular arrhythmias in patients, and the extent of the increase is associated with the severity of the ventricular arrhythmia.

short‐term variability of repolarization, ventricular arrhythmia, ventricular tachycardia,
Journal of the American Heart Association
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Smoczyńska, A. (Agnieszka), Loen, V. (Vera), Sprenkeler, D.J. (David J.), Tuinenburg, A.E. (Anton E.), Ritsema van Eck, H.J. (Henk J.), Malik, M, … Vos, M.A. (Marc A.). (2020). Short-Term Variability of the QT Interval Can be Used for the Prediction of Imminent Ventricular Arrhythmias in Patients With Primary Prophylactic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators. Journal of the American Heart Association, 9(23). doi:10.1161/JAHA.120.018133