Impact of Drug Induced Long QT Syndrome: A Systematic Review

Karuppiah Arunachalam, Seetha Lakshmanan, Abhishek Maan, Narendra Kumar, Paari Dominic


Background: Drug induced long QT syndrome is quite common in daily clinical practice but its impact is unknown.

Methods: PubMed and EMBASE databases (until May 2, 2017) were searched to identify studies reporting drug induced long QT syndrome and followed the PRISMA guidelines. The main outcomes measured in these studies were QTc prolongation, ventricular arrhythmias, torsade de pointes (TdP) and death.

Results: Out of 176 non-duplicate reports, 36 studies satisfied inclusion criteria and provided data on patients exposed to drugs that can potentially cause long QT. Totally, 14,756 patients were exposed and 930 patients (6.3%) were found to have QTc prolongation. The number of males was 6,400 and females were 5,723 patients. The mean age of the patients was 43.8 ± 9.36 years. Ventricular arrhythmias were found in 379 patients (2.6%), 26 patients were found to have premature atrial contractions (PACs) and premature ventricular contractions (PVCs). TdP was found in 49 patients (0.33 %), sudden cardiac death (SCD) was found in five patients and 586 patients were found to have all-cause mortality.

Conclusions: Around 6% of patients have risk of QT prolongation when exposed but only 0.3% developed TdP and 2.6% developed ventricular arrhythmias. Risk of developing arrhythmias is higher with concomitant use of multiple QT prolonging drugs.

J Clin Med Res. 2018;10(5):384-390


QTc prolongation; Torsades de pointes; Sudden cardiac death

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