5 years ago

The development and validation of an easy to use automatic QT-interval algorithm

Tammo Delhaas, Ben J. M. Hermans, Arthur A. M. Wilde, Veronique M. F. Meijborg, Frank C. Bennis, Arja S. Vink, Pieter G. Postema, Laurent Pison, Luc H. Filippini

by Ben J. M. Hermans, Arja S. Vink, Frank C. Bennis, Luc H. Filippini, Veronique M. F. Meijborg, Arthur A. M. Wilde, Laurent Pison, Pieter G. Postema, Tammo Delhaas


To evaluate QT-interval dynamics in patients and in drug safety analysis, beat-to-beat QT-interval measurements are increasingly used. However, interobserver differences, aberrant T-wave morphologies and changes in heart axis might hamper accurate QT-interval measurements.


To develop and validate a QT-interval algorithm robust to heart axis orientation and T-wave morphology that can be applied on a beat-to-beat basis.


Additionally to standard ECG leads, the root mean square (ECGRMS), standard deviation and vectorcardiogram were used. QRS-onset was defined from the ECGRMS. T-wave end was defined per individual lead and scalar ECG using an automated tangent method. A median of all T-wave ends was used as the general T-wave end per beat.Supine-standing tests of 73 patients with Long-QT syndrome (LQTS) and 54 controls were used because they have wide ranges of RR and QT-intervals as well as changes in T-wave morphology and heart axis orientation. For each subject, automatically estimated QT-intervals in three random complexes chosen from the low, middle and high RR range, were compared with manually measured QT-intervals by three observers.


After visual inspection of the randomly selected complexes, 21 complexes were excluded because of evident noise, too flat T-waves or premature ventricular beats. Bland-Altman analyses of automatically and manually determined QT-intervals showed a bias of <4ms and limits of agreement of ±25ms. Intra-class coefficient indicated excellent agreement (>0.9) between the algorithm and all observers individually as well as between the algorithm and the mean QT-interval of the observers.


Our automated algorithm provides reliable beat-to-beat QT-interval assessment, robust to heart axis and T-wave morphology.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184352

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