Importance of Formula-Specific Centile Thresholds for Evaluation of Heart Rate-Corrected QT Prolongation in Williams Syndrome

Published:September 13, 2022DOI:
      Patients with Williams syndrome (WS) have a 25- to 100-fold higher risk of sudden death and prolonged heart rate-corrected QT (QTc). A recent study using the Fridericia formula for QT correction suggested that prolongation is principally an issue of heart rate. We used multiple published heart rate correction formulas to reevaluate the prevalence of QTc prolongation in our original dataset from our 2010 study at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The ninety-eighth centile for QTc and corrected JT Interval (JTc) of the control population for each formula were used to set the threshold for prolongation. Prevalence comparison was done with Fisher's exact test. Predictors of longer QTc/JTc were assessed using linear regression models adjusting for age, gender, and heart rate. Adjusted odds of QTc/JTc prolongation were evaluated with conditional logistic regression models matched based on age and heart rate. There were 482 electrocardiograms from 188 patients with WS and 1,522 from normal controls. Patients with WS were younger, with higher heart rates and shorter RR and QRS intervals. WS was associated with longer QTc/JTc compared with controls. There were higher odds of prolonged QTc/JTc in patients with WS than controls using both Bazett and Fridericia formulas. In conclusion, this study confirms the higher prevalence of QTc prolongation in WS compared with controls and highlights the importance of setting appropriate formula-specific upper thresholds for QTc prolongation for accurate diagnosis.
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