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J Child Neurol. 2012 Sep;27(9):1187-92. doi: 10.1177/0883073812448461. Epub 2012 Jun 29.

Cross-sectional analysis of electrocardiograms in a large heterogeneous cohort of Friedreich ataxia subjects.

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Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Electrocardiographic (ECG) findings in Friedreich ataxia and their relation to disease characteristics have not been well described. In this retrospective cross-sectional study, the authors reviewed baseline ECGs from 239 children and adults with Friedreich ataxia. ECG abnormalities--assessed in relation to participant age, sex, shorter guanine-adenine-adenine triplet repeat length, age of disease onset, and functional disability score--were found in 90% of subjects, including nonspecific ST-T wave changes (53%), right axis deviation (32%), left ventricular hypertrophy (19%), and right ventricular hypertrophy (13%). Female sex and shorter guanine-adenine-adenine repeat lengths were associated with a normal ECG (P = .004 and P = .003). Males and those of younger age were more likely to show ventricular hypertrophy (P = .006 and P = .026 for left ventricular hypertrophy and P < .001 and P = .001 for right). Neurologic status as measured by the functional disability score did not predict ECG abnormalities.

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