IN THE year 1947 Taran and Szilagyi1 proposed a prolonged electrical systole (the Q-T interval of the electrocardiogram) as a sensitive and reliable diagnostic aid in detecting the presence and severity of active rheumatic carditis. These observations were subsequently confirmed by Abrahams.2 However, several recent independent studies3 indicate that the Q-T interval may not be consistently prolonged in acute rheumatic carditis. We have recently reviewed the problems of diagnosis in rheumatic fever and have cited the need for more perceptive diagnostic tools.4 The present study of the Q-T interval attempts to evaluate the usefulness of this controversial measurement in a well-defined body of rheumatic and control material.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
The clinical material employed in the present study has been described at length elsewhere.4 Clinical, laboratory, roentgenologic, and electrocardiographic findings have been reviewed in detail. The table indicates the distribution of cases in arbitrary descriptive