Anorexia Nervosa

Man versus machine? Acquired long QT syndrome in a patient with anorexia nervosa

Annals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology
By Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS


Computer‐generated Bazett‐corrected QT (QTcB) algorithms are common in clinical practice and can rapidly identify repolarization abnormalities, but accuracy is variable. This report highlights marked rate‐corrected QT (QTc) interval prolongation not detected by the computer algorithm. A 26‐year‐old woman with anorexia nervosa was admitted with severe hypokalemia and ventricular ectopy. Computer‐generated QTcB was 485 ms, while manual adjudication yielded a QTcB of 657 ms and a Fridericia‐corrected QT (QTcF) interval of 626 ms using digital calipers. Computer‐generated QTc intervals may aid in clinical decision‐making. However, accuracy is variable, particularly in the setting of ectopy, and requires manual verification.

Written by

Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS

Dr. Philip S. Mehler began his career at Denver Health more than 35 years ago and was formerly its Chief of Internal Medicine and then Denver Health’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) until he was promoted…

ACUTE Earns Prestigious Center of Excellence Designation from Anthem
In 2018, the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders & Severe Malnutrition at Denver Health was honored by Anthem Health as a Center of Excellence for Medical Treatment of Severe and Extreme Eating Disorders. ACUTE is the first medical unit ever to achieve this designation in the field of eating disorders. It comes after a rigorous review process.

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