BMC Cardiovascular Disorders (Dec 2012)

QTc interval prolongation in HIV-infected patients: a case–control study by 24-hour Holter ECG recording

  • Fiorentini Alessandra,
  • Petrosillo Nicola,
  • Di Stefano Angelo,
  • Cicalini Stefania,
  • Borgognoni Laura,
  • Boumis Evangelo,
  • Tubani Luigi,
  • Chinello Pierangelo

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 1
p. 124


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Abstract Background Aim of the study was to assess QTc interval by a 24-hour ECG recording in a group of HIV-infected individuals with a basal prolonged QTc. The risk factors associated with QTc prolongation and the indices of cardiovascular autonomic control were also evaluated. Methods A case–control study was performed using as cases 32 HIV-infected patients with prolonged (>440 msec) QTc interval as assessed by Holter ECG, and as controls 64 HIV-infected subjects with normal QTc interval. Autonomic function was evaluated by heart rate variability analysis during 24-hour recording. Results Duration of HIV disease was significantly longer among cases than among controls (p=0.04). Waist/hip ratio was also higher among cases than among controls (p=0.05). Frequency domain analysis showed the absence of physiologic decrease of low frequency (LF) in the night period in both cases and controls. The LF night in cases showed a statistically significant reduction when compared with controls (p=0.007). Conclusions In our study group, QTc interval prolongation was associated with a longer duration of HIV infection and with a greater waist/hip ratio. HIV patients with QTc interval prolongation and with a longer duration of HIV infection were more likely to have an impairment of parasympathetic and sympathetic cardiac component.