A novel ECG-biomarker for cardiac arrest during hypothermia
Main body - Evaluation of ECG-data from accidental and therapeutic hypothermia patients and experimental data on ECG and ventricular fibrillation (VF) threshold in hypothermic New Zealand White Rabbits. VF threshold was measured in rabbit hearts cooled to moderate (31 °C) and severe (17 °C) hypothermia. QRS-interval divided by corrected QT-interval (QTc) was calculated at same temperatures. Clinical QRS/QTc data were obtained after a systematic literature review. Rabbit QRS/QTc values correlated with risk for VF (correlation coefficient: 0.97). Human QRS/QTc values from hypothermic patients, showed similar correlation with risk for ventricular fibrillation in the experimental data (correlation coefficient: 1.00).
Conclusions - These calculations indicate that QRS/QTc has potential as novel biomarker for predicting risk of hypothermia-induced cardiac arrest. Our findings apply both to victims of accidental hypothermia and to patients undergoing therapeutic hypothermia during surgery or after e.g. cardiac arrest.