Significant QT interval prolongation and long QT in young adult ex-preterm newborns with extremely low birth weight
The survival rate for extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants born preterm is on an increasing upward trend, despite the possibility of neuro-cerebral consequences in later life. To date, scarce information is available on the effect of extreme prematurity on cardiovascular system. To verify the presence of standard echocardiographic and ECG alterations in ex-ELBW young healthy adults. A color Doppler echocardiogram and an ECG were performed on 24 ex-ELBW (4 males and 20 females; mean: 23.2 ± 3.3 years), compared with 24 healthy subjects born at term (C). ECG parameters examined: PR, QT, QT(c), and QT dispersion (QT(d)). Gestational age, birth weight, and duration of stay in neonatal intensive care unit were obtained from clinical records. Transthoracic echocardiography did not reveal differences between ex-ELBW and C, while a significant difference was displayed by ex-ELBW with regard to PR (141.5 ± 13.4 ms vs. 164.2 ± 24.0 ms, p < 0.0003), QT(c) (417.0 ± 23.6 ms vs. 369.9 ± 19.5 ms, p =0.00001), and QT(d) (30.4 ± 14.1 ms vs. 24.6 ± 8.2 ms, p < 0.00001). In two patients (8.3%), QT(c) exceeded the upper limit of normal range. A statistically significant inverse correlation was observed between QT(c) and gestational age (r = -...Continue Reading
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