Potential role of QT interval prolongation in sudden infant death syndrome

B. J. Maron, C. E. Clark, R. E. Goldstein, S. E. Epstein

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To investigate the possibility that a genetically transmitted cardiac abnormality is involved in the genesis of the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), 42 sets of parents who had at least one infant with SIDS were studied by electrocardiography. Prolongation of the QT interval was present in at least one member of 11 (26%) sets of parents. In families in which QT interval prolongation was found in a parent, prolonged QT interval was also present in 39% of the siblings of infants with SIDS, suggesting an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance. In addition, an infant with 'near miss' SIDS showed marked prolongation of the QT interval. Thus, our data suggest that prolonged QT interval may play a role in a considerable proportion of sudden and unexpected infant deaths. However, definitive confirmation of the relation between QT interval prolongation and SIDS will require large prospective investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-430
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1976
Externally publishedYes


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