The aim of this study was to investigate QT dispersion (QTd), which is the noninvasive marker of ventricular arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death, and P-wave dispersion, which is the noninvasive marker of atrial arrhythmia, in patients with conversion disorder (CD).
A total of 60 patients with no known organic disease who were admitted to outpatient emergency clinic and were diagnosed with CD after psychiatric consultation were included in this study along with 60 healthy control subjects. Beck Anxiety Inventory and Beck Depression Scale were administered to patients and 12-lead electrocardiogram measurements were obtained. Pd and QTd were calculated by a single blinded cardiologist.
There was no statistically significant difference in terms of age, sex, education level, socioeconomic status, weight, height, and body mass index between CD patients and controls. Beck Anxiety Inventory scores (25.2±10.8 and 3.8±3.2, respectively, P<0.001) and Beck Depression Scale scores (11.24±6.15 and 6.58±5.69, respectively, P<0.01) were significantly higher in CD patients. P-wave dispersion measurements did not show any significant differences between conversion patients and control group (46±5.7 vs 44±5.5, respectively, P=0.156). Regarding QTc and QTd, there was a statistically significant increase in all intervals in conversion patients (416±10 vs 398±12, P<0.001, and 47±4.8 vs 20±6.1, P<0.001, respectively).
A similar relation to that in literature between QTd and anxiety and somatoform disorders was also observed in CD patients. QTc and QTd were significantly increased compared to the control group in patients with CD. These results suggest a possibility of increased risk of ventricular arrhythmia resulting from QTd in CD patients. Larger samples are needed to evaluate the clinical course and prognosis in terms of arrhythmia risk in CD patients.