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Vol. 117, No. 2, 2010
Issue release date: November 2010
Cardiology 2010;117:105–111

Viral Load and CD4+ Cell Count as Risk Factors for Prolonged QT Interval in HIV-Infected Subjects: A Cohort-Nested Case-Control Study in an Outpatient Population

QaQa A.Y. · Shaaban H. · DeBari V.A. · Phung S. · Slim J. · Costeas C.A. · Perez G. · Shamoon F.E.
Departments of aInternal Medicine, bInfectious Disease and cCardiology, St. Michaels Medical Center, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Seton Hall University, Newark, N.J., and dDepartment of Internal Medicine, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J., USA

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Background: QTc interval prolongation is a serious ECG finding which has frequently been reported in HIV-infected patients, but associated risk factors have not been determined in this population. Methods: Data were collected from the charts of a cohort of 135 consecutive HIV-infected patients from our HIV outpatient clinic. The cohort was divided into two groups, patients with prolonged QTc and those with normal QTc interval. Multiple variables and potential risk factors were analyzed, including the CD4+ cell count and viral load (VL), which were assessed on the same day or within several days of the initial ECG. Results: 23 patients were found to have prolonged QTc (17%). No significant difference in baseline characteristics was observed between the groups; however, statistically significant differences were observed with regard to the CD4+ cell count and VL. Conclusion: A low CD4 cell count and a high VL may be risk factors potentially related to QT prolongation in HIV patients in the outpatient setting.

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