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Dispersion of QT intervals: A measure of dispersion of repolarization or simply a projection effect?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Philip Langley, Emeritus Professor Alan MurrayORCiD


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QT interval dispersion may provide little information about repolarization dispersion. Some clinical measurements demonstrate an association between high QT interval dispersion and high morbidity and mortality, but what is being measured is not clear This study was designed to help resolve this dilemma. We compared the association between different clinical measures of QT interval dispersion and the ECG lead amplitudes derived from a heart vector model of repolarization with no repolarization dispersion whatsoever, We compared our clinical QT interval dispersion data obtained from 25 subjects without cardiac disease with similar data from published studies, and correlated these QT dispersion results with the distribution of lead amplitudes derived from the projection of the heart vector onto the body surface during repolarization. Published results were available for mean relative QT intervals and mean differences from the maximum QT interval. The leads were derived from Uijen and Dower lead vector data. Using the Uijen lead vector data, the correlation between measurements of dispersion and derived lead amplitudes ranged from 0.78 to 0.99 for limb leads, and using the Dower values ranged from 0.81 to 0.94 for the precordial leads. These results show a clear association between the measured QT interval dispersion and the variation in ECG lead amplitudes derived front a simple heart vector model of repolarization with no regional information. Therefore, measured QT dispersion is related mostly to a projection effect and is not a true measure of repolarization dispersion. Our existing interpretation of QT dispersion must be reexamined, and other measurements that provide true repolarization dispersion data investigated.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Murray A; Langley P; Di Bernardo D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology

Year: 2000

Volume: 23

Issue: 9

Pages: 1392-1396

ISSN (print): 0147-8389

ISSN (electronic): 1540-8159

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.