Slow QT interval adaptation to heart rate changes in normal ambulatory subjects

Eathar Razak, Marie Buncová, Vladimir Shusterman, Bruce Winter, Win Kuang Shen, Michael J. Ackerman, Theresa Donovan, Rachel Lampert, Jan Němec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Clinical formulas for QT correction utilize instantaneous HR. We showed previously that longer-term HR affects QT duration. We extend these findings, identifying more accurate models of QT behavior. Method: Multiple models of QT dependence on HR were tested in 2 independent populations. Holter recordings were analyzed in population A (healthy volunteers, n = 14, 6 males, age 26.9 ± 12.3 yr). The hypotheses generated in population A were tested in an independent group population B, healthy volunteers, n = 15, 9 males, age 52.9 ± 15.6 yr). Linear models of QT interval dependence on a weighted average of RR intervals in the preceding 3 minutes were compared to models based on the immediately preceding RR interval (instantaneous HR). Results: In population A, linear models based on RR intervals over the preceding minute performed better than the best nonlinear model based on the single RR interval immediately preceding the QT interval. Linear models including HR values preceding the QT interval by more than 60 s further improved model fit. This model hierarchy was confirmed in population B. Linear formula for QT correction based on exponential decay of HR effect with 60 s time constant outperformed Bazett and Fridericia formulas in both populations. Conclusions: QT duration in normal ambulatory subjects is affected by noninstantaneous HR, including HR history dating back more than 60 s. Exponential decay of this "memory effect" with time constant of 1 minute provides an accurate description of QT adaptation. This may be of clinical importance when HR is not steady.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-155
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • QT interval adaptation
  • QT interval correction
  • ambulatory ECG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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