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A. Verner1, A. Sands1, J. S. Craig1, J. Jenkins2.1Royal Group of Hospitals Trust, Belfast, UK; 2Queen’s University, Belfast, UK

Background: The association between long QT interval and sudden death was first reported by Jervill and Lange-Nielson in 1957. There has been extensive research in the adult population further examining this relation, both in disease state and in health. There are few studies in healthy children, the largest study to date has been that by Schwartz et al. The normal range of QT interval in preterm infants has never been studied. This is part of a study examining ventricular repolarisation in preterm infants.

Methods: Infants were recruited if they were under 36 weeks’ gestation, with parental consent, with no family history of long QT syndrome or a major congenital cardiac defect. All had a screening 12 lead ECG prior to starting 24-h ECG recording.

Results: Eighty two infants, gestational age 25–35 weeks were recruited. 32% of these infants had either complete flattening or very low amplitude T waves (<0.1 mV) on 12 lead ECG in the first 3 days of life. The end of the T wave could be determined in the majority, allowing the QTc to be calculated in 88%. The mean QTc was 0.41 ms (SD 0.039 ms). The QTc and T wave amplitude were the maximum values recorded in leads II, V5 or V6. Other ECG parameters were similar to previously published values for preterm infants, which differ from those of term infants. For those infants who had repeat ECG or 24-h ECG recording performed at 2 weeks of age, T waves were monophasic and normal amplitude. The presence of low amplitude T wave is not related to gestation or level of intensive care required but …

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