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      Effect of Hemodialysis on the Dispersion of the QTc Interval

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          The QTc dispersion reflects the underlying regional heterogeneity of the recovery of the ventricular excitability, thereby it is considered as a novel marker of risk of ventricular arrhythmias. Because a higher incidence of ventricular arrhythmias is described during and after hemodialysis, the aim of this study has been to evaluate the QTc dispersion before and after uncomplicated hemodialysis session. Twenty chronic uremics without heart failure, ischemic heart disease or dialysis hypotension were selected. The QTc dispersion was determined as the difference between the longer and the shorter QTc interval measured on a 12-lead electrocardiogram. Following the hemodialysis session, the QTc dispersion increased from 30 ± 9 to 54 ± 17 ms (p < 0.001) associated with the expected reduction of potassium and magnesium and with the increase of extracellular calcium concentration. However, no correlation has been observed between the QTc dispersion increase and the degree of the intradialytic changes of plasma electrolytes, blood pressure or body weight. In summary, the hemodialysis treatment per se does induce an increase of the QTc dispersion, likely due to the rapid changes of electrolyte plasma concentrations. This can potentially contribute to the arrhythmogenic effect of the hemodialysis procedure, reflecting an enhanced regional heterogeneity of ventricular repolarization. The clinical importance of the increase of QTc dispersion as risk factor of ventricular arrhythmias, particularly in hemodialyzed patients suffering from ischemic or hypertrophic heart diseases, should be the matter of further investigations.

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          Author and article information

          S. Karger AG
          April 1998
          26 March 1998
          : 78
          : 4
          : 429-432
          a Clinica Medica I e b Clinica Medica II, Università di Pisa, Italia
          44972 Nephron 1998;78:429–432
          © 1998 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          Page count
          Figures: 1, Tables: 2, References: 19, Pages: 4
          Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/44972
          Original Paper

          Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

          QT dispersion, Hemodialysis


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