The correlation between ventricular repolarization and clinical severity of spinal cord injuries

Fa Po Chung, Yu Feng Hu, Tze Fan Chao, Satoshi Higa, Henrich Cheng, Yenn Jiang Lin, Shih Lin Chang, Li Wei Lo, Ta Chuan Tuan, Ching Tai Tai, Cheng Hong Li, Yung Kuo Lin, Shih Ann Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Alteration in ventricular repolarization has been reported in patients with spinal cord injuries (SCIs). However, its clinical impact remains unclear. Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the correlation between SCIs and ventricular repolarization and the associated clinical impact. Methods: One hundred forty-four patients with an SCI were retrospectively reviewed and were divided into two groups (SCI level ≤T6, n = 110; SCI level >T6, n = 34). The electrocardiograms were reviewed during acute phase (at emergency room) and chronic phase (>1 year). Results: There were no differences in the underlying diseases or in ASIA score between the two groups, except there were more patients with tetraplegia among those with an SCI level ≤T6. For the electrophysiological parameters from the electrocardiograms, the patients with an SCI level ≤T6 had longer QTc and PR interval than those with an SCI level >T6 during acute phase. In the chronic phase, there were no differences in the electrophysiological parameters between the two groups. Only in patients with an SCI level ≤T6 did a Kaplan-Meier analysis show that QTc prolongation could predict 30-day mortality after the acute injury. After multivariate Cox regression analysis, only tetraplegia and QTc prolongation were independent predictors of 30-day mortality (odds ratios 7.85 and 34.62, respectively). In patients with an SCI level ≤T6, the QTc intervals were shorter in the chronic phase than those during the acute phase. Conclusion: QTc interval was associated with the level of acute SCI and predicted the 30-day mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)879-884
Number of pages6
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • QTc interval
  • QTc prolongation
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Tetraplegia
  • Ventricular repolarization


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