Sudden death is a possible occurrence for newborns younger than 1 year with severe aortic coarctation (CoA) before surgical correction. Basic research and animal experiments have shown electrophysiologic changes during mechanical ventricular pressure overload. The current study aimed to evaluate the effect of severe CoA on the heterogeneity of ventricular repolarization by examining corrected QT and JT interval dispersion (respectively, QTc-D and JTc-D) and electrocardiographic parameters of spatial heterogeneity of ventricular repolarization in newborns with no associated congenital cardiac malformations. The study enrolled 30 isolated severe CoA neonates (age, 45 ± 15 days; 17 males) with normal size and wall thickness of the left ventricle before surgical correction and 30 age- and sex-matched healthy newborns used as control subjects. Heart rate, QRS duration, maximum and minimum QT and JT intervals, and QTc-D and JTc-D measurements were performed. The healthy control group did not significantly differ from the CoA group in terms of heart rate, weight, height, and echocardiographic parameters. Compared with the healthy control group, the CoA group presented significantly increased values of QTc-D (109.7 ± 43.4 vs. 23 ± 15 ms; P = 0.03) and JTc-D (99.1 ± 43.3 vs. 65.8 ± 24.1 ms; P = 0.04). A statistically significant correlation was found between the Doppler peak pressure gradient across the coarctation site and the values of QTc-D (r = 0.48; P = 0.03) and JTc-D (r = 0.42; P = 0.04). Our study showed significantly increased QTc-D and JTc-D in isolated CoA newborns with normal left ventricular geometry.
Pediatr Cardiol. 2011 Oct 4