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J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2012 Feb;32(1):18-22. doi: 10.1097/JCP.0b013e31823f6f21.

Increased risk of antipsychotic-related QT prolongation during nighttime: a 24-hour holter electrocardiogram recording study.

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Department of Psychiatry, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Niigata, Japan.


Most antipsychotic agents can cause QT prolongation, which causes torsades de pointes. The QT interval in healthy subjects is longer during nighttime than during daytime. The QT interval of patients treated with antipsychotics may be prolonged during nighttime, and the effects of antipsychotics on the QT interval may differ between antipsychotics. This study investigated the circadian dynamics of the QT interval in patients treated with antipsychotics and healthy controls, using a 24-hour Holter electrocardiogram in a clinical setting. Sixty-six patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia that were treated with risperidone or olanzapine and 40 healthy volunteers were enrolled. The QT intervals were corrected using the Fridericia formula (QTcF = QT / RR). Mean ± SD nighttime QTcFs were 411.6 ± 29.0, 395.9 ± 21.2, and 387.8 ± 19.0 milliseconds (ms) in the risperidone, olanzapine, and control groups, respectively. The mean daytime QTcFs were 397.7 ± 23.4, 392.4 ± 18.9, and 382.6 ± 17.3 ms, respectively. The mean nighttime QTcF of the risperidone group was significantly longer than that of the olanzapine and control groups, although there was no significant difference in the mean daytime QTcF between the risperidone and olanzapine groups. The current study used 24-hour Holter electrocardiograms to reveal significantly longer QT intervals in the risperidone group especially during nighttime. In clinical practices, evaluations of the QT interval have been conducted over short periods in the daytime, but it is believed that such methods may not be able to fully elucidate the effects of antipsychotics on the QT interval.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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