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Heart Rhythm. 2012 May;9(5):776-81. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2012.01.006. Epub 2012 Jan 11.

Drug-induced QT-interval shortening following antiepileptic treatment with oral rufinamide.

Author information

1
Ist Department of Medicine-Cardiology, University Medical Centre Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany. rainer.schimpf@umm.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The arrhythmogenic potential of short QT intervals has recently been highlighted in patients with a short QT syndrome. Drug-induced QT-interval prolongation is a known risk factor for ventricular tachyarrhythmias. However, reports on drug-induced QT-interval shortening are rare and proarrhythmic effects remain unclear.

OBJECTIVE:

Recently, rufinamide, a new antiepileptic drug for the add-on treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, was approved in the European Union and the United States. Initial trials showed drug-induced QT-interval shortening. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of rufinamide on QT intervals in patients with difficult-to-treat epilepsies.

METHODS:

Nineteen consecutive patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and other epilepsy syndromes were included (n = 12 men; mean age 41 ± 12 years). QRS, QT, and T(peak)-T(end) intervals were analyzed before and during rufinamide treatment.

RESULTS:

The mean QT interval shortened significantly following rufinamide administration (QT interval 349 ± 23 ms vs 327 ± 17 ms; corrected QT interval 402 ± 22 ms vs 382 ± 16 ms; P = .002). T(peak)-T(end) intervals were 79 ± 17 ms before and 70 ± 20 ms on treatment (P = .07). The mean reduction of the corrected QT interval was 20 ± 18 ms. During follow-up (3.04 ± 1.09 years), no adverse events including symptomatic cardiac arrhythmias or sudden cardiac deaths were observed.

CONCLUSION:

QTc-interval shortening following oral rufinamide administration in a small patient group was not associated with significant clinical adverse effects. These observations notwithstanding, the ability of rufinamide to significantly shorten the QT interval portends a potential arrhythmogenic risk that may best be guarded against by periodic electrocardiographic recordings.

PMID:
22245794
PMCID:
PMC3482382
DOI:
10.1016/j.hrthm.2012.01.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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