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Nephrology (Carlton). 2005 Apr;10(2):109-12.

QT interval dispersion in dialysis patients.

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Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Yun-Lin Branch, Taipei, Taiwan.


The leading cause of mortality in dialysis patients is cardiovascular complications, including ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. A reliable non-invasive predictive test of sudden death is therefore important. The interlead variation in duration of the QT interval on the surface electrocardiogram corrected with heart rate (QTc dispersion) might serve as a surrogate for ventricular arrhythmia. Prolonged QTc dispersion is commonly encountered in dialysis patients and possesses an increased risk of all mortality, including cardiovascular mortality. QT dispersion might be affected by shifts of the intracellular electrolytes during dialysis and increasing deposition of iron in cardiac muscles in these patients who have underlying heart diseases. Although no well-designed study has been done, the factors contributing to prolongation of QTc dispersion should be avoided. We summarize the results of the currently available clinical studies that examined QTc dispersion in dialysis patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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