J Clin Med. 2020 Aug 21;9(9):E2712. doi: 10.3390/jcm9092712.
BACKGROUND: The prognostic value of a prolonged QT interval in SARS-Cov2 infection is not well known.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the presence of a prolonged QT on admission is an independent factor for mortality in SARS-Cov2 hospitalized patients.
METHODS: Single-center cohort of 623 consecutive patients with positive polymerase-chain-reaction test (PCR) to SARS Cov2, recruited from 27 February to 7 April 2020. An electrocardiogram was taken on these patients within the first 48 h after diagnosis and before the administration of any medication with a known effect on QT interval. A prolonged QT interval was defined as a corrected QT (QTc) interval >480 milliseconds. Patients were followed up with until 10 May 2020.
RESULTS: Sixty-one patients (9.8%) had prolonged QTc and only 3.2% had a baseline QTc > 500 milliseconds. Patients with prolonged QTc were older, had more comorbidities, and higher levels of immune-inflammatory markers. There were no episodes of ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation during hospitalization. All-cause death was higher in patients with prolonged QTc (41.0% vs. 8.7%, p < 0.001, multivariable HR 2.68 (1.58-4.55), p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Almost 10% of patients with COVID-19 infection have a prolonged QTc interval on admission. A prolonged QTc was independently associated with a higher mortality even after adjustment for age, comorbidities, and treatment with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. An electrocardiogram should be included on admission to identify high-risk SARS-CoV-2 patients.