Cirrhotic Patients with Child-Pugh C Have Longer QT Intervals
Abstract Background and aims: Cirrhotic cardiomyopathy has been used to describe chronic cardiac dysfunction in cirrhotic patients with no previous structural heart disease. Additionally, QT prolongation is one of the most important cardiac alterations related to cirrhosis. Previous studies suggest that QT prolongation is associated with a higher mortality rate among cirrhotic patients. The aim of this study was to analyze QT intervals according to cirrhosis severity as measured by the Child-Pugh classification. Materials and methods: In a cross-sectional study, a total of 67 patients with nonalcoholic cirrhosis underwent clinical and electrocardiographic evaluation. Cirrhosis severity was classified according to the Child-Pugh score. The QT interval was measured by a 12-lead electrocardiogram. Results: The QT intervals were longer in patients in the Child-Pugh C group than those in the Child-Pugh A and B groups (459 ± 33 vs 436 ± 25 and 428 ± 34 ms, respectively, p = 0.004). There was a positive correlation between the QT interval and the Child-Pugh score in individuals with Child-Pugh scores ≥ 7 (r = 0.50, p < 0.05) and QT intervals ≥ 440 ms (r = 0.46, p < 0.05). Conclusion: The present study showed longer QT intervals in patients with Child-Pugh C cirrhosis, which reinforced the relationship between the severity of cirrhosis and electrocardiographic findings of cirrhotic cardiomyopathy. Moreover, this finding emerged in patients with no cardiac symptoms, which highlighted the importance of a simple and noninvasive method (ECG) to identify cirrhotic patients with cardiomyopathy.