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Indian Pacing Electrophysiol J. 2010 Oct 31;10(10):454-63.

Advanced Age, Female Gender and Delay in Pacemaker Implantation May Cause TdP in Patients With Complete Atrioventricular Block.

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GMMA, Haydarpasa Training Hospital, Cardiology Division, Istanbul-TURKEY.



We aimed to report the clinical features related to torsades de pointes (TdP) in patients with complete AV block (CAVB).


Patients with CAVB who were admitted to our instituition between January 2007 and January 2010 were retrospectively evaluated in terms of the occurence of TdP. The clinical features were compared in patients with and without TdP using the software of SPSS.


Sixty-four patients were determined to have CAVB. Three of them had documented episodes of TdP. All three patients experiencing TdP were females, whereas 48% of the patients with CAVB were females. The mean age of patients with TdP was significantly greater than the mean age of the other patients (85 ±3 vs. 78±7.6, respectively; p<0.05). In our archives, bradycardia exposure time could be determined in only 49 patients without TdP. Among them, just 10 patients had been exposed to bradycardia over 48 hours, whereas all of the 3 patients with TdP had been exposed to bradycardia over 48 hours (p<0.05). Additionally, in two patients with TdP, we demonstrated that QT and QTc prolongation increases as the duration of bradycardia is extended. Furthermore, all patients with TdP had notched T waves in the ECG on the occurrence day of TdP, whereas they did not have any notched T wave in their ECG on the admission day.


Among the patients with CAVB, elderly females are more susceptible to development of TdP. Delay in institution of physiological heart rate leads to further QT prolongation and thereby to TdP. Besides QT prolongation, the finding of T wave notching on ECG may also have a predictive value for TdP.


Long QT; complete AV block; torsades


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