Phenotype of Children with QT Prolongation Identified Using an Institution-Wide QT Alert System

Heather N. Anderson, J. Martijn Bos, Kristina H. Haugaa, Bruce W. Morlan, Robert F. Tarrell, Pedro J. Caraballo, Michael J. Ackerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


QT prolongation is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular mortality in adults. However, there is little information available on pediatric patients with QT prolongation and their outcomes. Herein, we evaluated the prevalence of QT prolongation in pediatric patients identified by an institution-wide QT alert system, and the spectrum of their phenotype. Patients with documented QT prolongation on an ECG obtained between November 2010 and June 2011 were included. There were 1303 pediatric ECGs, and 68 children had electrographically isolated QT prolongation. Comprehensive review of medical records was performed with particular attention to QT-prolonging clinical, laboratory, and medication data, which were summarized into a pro-QTc score. Overall, 68 (5 %) pediatric patients had isolated QT prolongation. The mean age of this pediatric cohort was 9 ± 6 years, and the average QTc was 494 ± 42 ms. All children had 1 or more QT-prolonging risk factor(s), most commonly QT-prolonging medications. One patient was identified with congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS), which was not previously diagnosed. In one-year follow-up, only one pediatric death (non-cardiac) occurred (1.5 %). Potentially QT-offending/pro-arrhythmic medications were changed in 80 % of pediatric patients after the physician received the QT alert. Children with QT prolongation had very low mortality and minimal polypharmacy. Still, medications and other modifiable conditions were the most common causes of QT prolongation. Children with a prolonged QTc should be evaluated for modifiable QT-prolonging factors. However, if no risk factors are present or the QTc does not attenuate after risk factor modification/removal, the child should be evaluated for congenital LQTS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1350-1356
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 22 2015


  • Long QT syndrome
  • Monitoring
  • Mortality
  • QT prolongation
  • Risk factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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