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Circulation. 1997 Nov 4;96(9):3006-12.

Evaluation of the spatial aspects of T-wave complexity in the long-QT syndrome.

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Molecular Cardiology and Electrophysiology, Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri, Pavia, Italy.



The duration of the QT interval is only a gross estimate of repolarization. Besides its limited accuracy and reproducibility, it does not provide information on the morphology of the T wave; thus, morphologic alterations such as notches can be only qualitatively described but not objectively quantified.


To measure the complexity of repolarization in the long-QT syndrome (LQTS) patients, we previously applied principal component analysis to body surface mapping and found it useful in distinguishing normal from abnormal repolarization patterns (sensitivity, 87%). In the present study, we applied principal component analysis to 12-lead Holter recordings. The index of complexity of repolarization that we have developed (CR24h) reflects the average 24-hour complexity of repolarization and is mathematically defined as the average ratio between the second and the first eigenvalue. We studied 36 LQTS patients and 40 control subjects. A mean of 22+/-1.3 ECG recordings at 1-hour intervals was used in each patient, and a total of 1655 recordings were analyzed. CR24h was significantly higher in LQTS than in control subjects (34+/-12% versus 13+/-3%; P<.0001). A CR24h exceeding 2 SD above the mean of the control group (>20%) was present in 32 of 36 patients (88%). The negative predictive value of CR24h in LQTS was 88%, and the combination of prolonged QT and abnormal CR24h identified all LQTS patients from normal subjects, including 4 affected symptomatic individuals with a normal QT interval duration, suggesting that CR24h provides information independent of QT duration.


Our data suggest that principal component analysis applied to 24-hour, 12-lead Holter recording adequately quantifies the complexity of ventricular repolarization and may become a useful noninvasive diagnostic tool in LQTS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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