Can QT interval prolongation or dispersion detected in a positive exercise ECG test predict critical coronary artery disease?
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Submission date: 2018-10-26
Final revision date: 2018-12-31
Acceptance date: 2019-02-02
Publication date: 2019-03-04
Arch Med Sci Atheroscler Dis 2019;4(1):7–12
Exercise electrocardiography (EET) is frequently used in coronary artery disease, but the specificity of this test is very low. In the literature, parameters such as QT prolongation and QT dispersion which show coronary artery disease and arrhythmia were not sufficiently investigated using EET. The aim of this study was to investigate whether QT interval prolongation or dispersion (QT disp) in a positive EET test could predict critical coronary artery disease (CAD).

Material and methods:
Patients with a positive exercise test were included in the study. Data regarding QT, QTc (corrected QT interval) and QT disp values before, during and after EET were noted. Critical coronary artery occlusions (≥ 70%) was recorded from coronary angiographic images. Patients were divided into two groups (critical CAD and non-critical CAD).

A total of 192 patients were found to be eligible for the study. There were 126 patients in the non-critical CAD group (group 1) and 66 patients in the critical CAD group (group 2). Recovery QTc, peak QT disp, and recovery QT disp were significantly increased in group 2 (p < 0.001 for each). Also, target heart rate (p = 0.012), basal systolic blood pressure (p = 0.005) and diastolic blood pressure (p < 0.001) were significantly higher in group 1. Recovery QTc (OR = 1.051) and recovery QT disp (OR = 1.117) were determined as the independent predictors for critical CAD. The ROC analysis results indicated that critical CAD could be diagnosed with 90% sensitivity when the recovery QTc cut-off value was set as 404 ms.

In patients with positive EET, prolonged QTc and QT disp values measured during the recovery period would predict critical CAD. Thus, the clinical accuracy of EET may be enhanced.