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QT elongation

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A QT interval in excess of 0.44 sec is associated with possible development of ventricular arrhythmia, syncope and sudden death.

  • QT interval on the ECG, measured from the beginning of the QRS complex to the end of the T wave
  • QT interval represents the duration of activation and recovery of the ventricular myocardium
    • if there is a prolonged recovery from electrical excitation contributes to increased likelihood of dispersion of refractoriness ( i.e. when some part of myocardium might be refractory to subsequent depolarization)
      • if this occurs then the wave of excitation may pursue a distinctive pathway around a focal point in myocardium (circus reentrant rhythm)
        • resulting in ventricular arrhythmia, hemodynamically ineffective contraction of the ventricles, syncope, and, possibly, sudden death

Click here for an example ECG and further information regarding prolonged QT interval

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