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Clin Infect Dis. 2013 Oct;57(8):1189-94. doi: 10.1093/cid/cit467. Epub 2013 Jul 29.

Risk of QTc prolongation in a cohort of opioid-dependent HIV-infected patients on methadone maintenance therapy.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Concern regarding the QTc interval in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients has been growing in recent years, and cases of prolonged QTc interval and torsades de pointes have been described in HIV-infected patients on methadone therapy. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and factors associated with long QTc interval in a cohort of opioid-dependent HIV-infected patients on methadone maintenance therapy.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional study was conducted in opioid-dependent HIV-infected patients on methadone maintenance therapy at a drug abuse outpatient center. Patients with any cardiac disease, drug-positive urine test, electrolyte abnormalities, and changes in their antiretroviral therapy (ART) or methadone doses in the last 2 months were excluded. Heart rate and QT interval in lead II were measured using the Bazett formula.

RESULTS:

Ninety-one patients were included: 58 (63.7%) were men with a median age of 44.5 years and 68 of 91 (74.7%) were on ART. Median methadone dose was 70 mg/day (range 15-250 mg/day) and mean QTc interval was 438 ± 34 ms. Prolonged QTc interval (>450 ms) was documented in 33 of 91(36.3%) patients, and 3 of 91 (3.2%) had QTc >500 ms. On multiple linear regression analysis, methadone doses (P = .005), chronic hepatitis C-induced cirrhosis (P = .008), and being ART-naive (P = .036) were predictive of prolonged QTc.

CONCLUSIONS:

The prevalence of prolonged QTc interval in opioid-dependent HIV-infected patients on methadone maintenance therapy is high. Risk factors for prolongation of the QTc interval are chronic hepatitis C-induced cirrhosis, higher methadone doses, and being ART-naive. Thus, electrocardiographic monitoring is required to minimize cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in this specific HIV group.

KEYWORDS:

HIV; QTc prolongation; methadone; opioid dependence

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PMID:
23899678
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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