QTc interval prolongation, inflammation, and mortality in patients with COVID-19.J Interv Card Electrophysiol. 2021 Jul 22 [Online ahead of print]JI
Systemic inflammation has been associated with corrected QT (QTc) interval prolongation. The role of inflammation on QTc prolongation in COVID-19 patients was investigated.
Patients with a laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection admitted to IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute (Milan, Italy) between March 14, 2020, and March 30, 2020 were included. QTc-I was defined as the QTc interval by Bazett formula in the first ECG performed during the hospitalization, before any new drug treatment; QTc-II was the QTc in the ECG performed after the initiation of hydroxychloroquine drug treatment.
QTc-I was long in 45 patients (45%) and normal in 55 patients (55%). Patients with long QTc-I were older and more frequently males. C-Reactive protein (CRP) and white blood cell (WBC) count at hospitalization were higher in patients with long QTc-I and long QTc-II. QTc-I was significantly correlated with CRP levels at hospitalization. After a median follow-up of 83 days, 14 patients (14%) died. There were no deaths attributed to ventricular arrhythmias. Patients with long QTc-I and long QTc-II had a shorter survival, compared with normal QTc-I and QTc-II patients, respectively. In Cox multivariate analysis, independent predictors of mortality were age (HR = 1.1, CI 95% 1.04-1.18, p = 0.002) and CRP at ECG II (HR 1.1, CI 95% 1.0-1.1, p = 0.02).
QTc at hospitalization is a simple risk marker of mortality risk in COVID-19 patients and reflects the myocardial inflammatory status.