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Heart Rhythm. 2016 Feb;13(2):527-35. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2015.11.008. Epub 2015 Nov 10.

Optimal QT interval correction formula in sinus tachycardia for identifying cardiovascular and mortality risk: Findings from the Penn Atrial Fibrillation Free study.

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St. Vincent Medical Group, Division of Cardiology, Indianapolis, Indiana; Section of Electrophysiology, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address:
Section of Electrophysiology, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.



The QT interval measures cardiac repolarization, and prolongation is associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes and death. The exponential Bazett correction formula overestimates the QT interval during tachycardia.


We evaluated 4 formulas of QT interval correction in individuals with sinus tachycardia for the identification of coronary artery disease, heart failure, and mortality.


The Penn Atrial Fibrillation Free study is a large cohort study of patients without atrial fibrillation. The present study examined 6723 Penn Atrial Fibrillation Free study patients without a history of heart failure and with baseline sinus rate ≥100 beats/min. Medical records were queried for index clinical parameters, incident cardiovascular events, and all-cause mortality. The QT interval was corrected by using Bazett (QT/RR(0.5)), Fridericia (QT/RR(0.33)), Framingham [QT + 0.154 * (1000 - RR)], and Hodges (QT + 105 * (1/RR - 1)) formulas.


In 6723 patients with a median follow-up of 4.5 years (interquartile range 1.9-6.4 years), the annualized cardiovascular event rate was 2.3% and the annualized mortality rate was 2.2%. QT prolongation was diagnosed in 39% of the cohort using the Bazett formula, 6.2% using the Fridericia formula, 3.7% using the Framingham formula, and 8.7% using the Hodges formula. Only the Hodges formula was an independent risk marker for death across the range of QT values (highest tertile: hazard ratio 1.26; 95% confidence interval 1.03-1.55).


Although all correction formulas demonstrated an association between QTc values and cardiovascular events, only the Hodges formula identified one-third of individuals with tachycardia that are at higher risk of all-cause mortality. Furthermore, the Bazett correction formula overestimates the number of patients with a prolonged QT interval and was not associated with mortality. Future work may validate these findings and result in changes to automated algorithms for QT interval assessment.


Cardiovascular disease; Mortality; QT interval; Tachycardia

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