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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Prolongation of the QT Interval

Alfred Steinschneider, MD, PhD
Am J Dis Child. 1978;132(7):688-691. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1978.02120320048011.
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• A standard lead II ECG was recorded during either the first or the fourth week of life or at both ages from 30 neonates whose sibling had died of the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Electrocardiographic recordings also were obtained from 75 control neonates and from 52 adults who had had an infant who died of SIDS. The neonatal data revealed that the QT interval, corrected for heart rate (QTc), was longest during NREM (vs rapid eye movement [REM]) sleep. Furthermore, the QT interval was longer within the fourth week than in the first week of life. However, the QTc interval of siblings of SIDS victims did not differ from that of the control infants, nor did the QT interval of parents of SIDS victims differ from published normal values. One neonate who subsequently died of SIDS did not have an abnormally long QT interval. These data do not support the hypothesis that genetically determined prolongation of the QT interval plays a major role in SIDS.

(Am J Dis Child 132:688-691, 1978)

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