Corrected QT Interval Prolongation in Psychopharmacological Treatment and Its Modulation by Genetic Variation

Filippo Corponi, Chiara Fabbri, Giuseppe Boriani, Igor Diemberger, Diego Albani, Gianluigi Forloni, Alessandro Serretti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several antipsychotics and antidepressants have been associated with electrocardiogram alterations, the most clinically relevant of which is the heart rate-corrected QT interval (QTc) prolongation, a risk factor for sudden cardiac death. Genetic variants influence drug-induced QTc prolongation and can provide valuable information for precision medicine. The effect of genetic variants on QTc prolongation as well as the possible interaction between polymorphisms and risk medications in determining QTc prolongation were investigated. Medications were classified according to their known risk of inducing QTc prolongation (high-to-moderate, low, and no risk). QTc duration and risk of QTc > median value were investigated in a sample of 77 patients with mood or psychotic disorders being treated with antidepressants and antipsychotics, and who had at least 1 ECG recording. A secondary analysis considered QTc percentage change in patients (n = 25) with 2 ECG recordings. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms previously associated with QTc prolongation during treatment with psychotropic medications were investigated. No association survived after multiple-testing correction. The best results for modulation of QTc duration were identified for rs10808071 (the ABCB1 gene, nominal p = 0.007) when at least 1 medication with a moderate-to-high risk was prescribed, and for rs12029454 (the NOS1AP gene) in patients taking at least 1 medication with a cardiovascular risk (nominal p = 0.008). In the secondary analysis, rs2072413 (the KCNH2 gene) was the top finding for the modulation of QTc percentage change (nominal p = 0.001) when 1 drug with a moderate-to-high risk was added compared to baseline. Despite the limited power of this study, our results suggest that ABCB1, NOS1AP, and KCNH2 may play a role in QTc duration/prolongation during treatment with psychotropic drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B/genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/genetics
  • Antidepressive Agents/adverse effects
  • Antipsychotic Agents/adverse effects
  • ERG1 Potassium Channel/genetics
  • Electrocardiography
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Heart/drug effects
  • Humans
  • Mood Disorders/drug therapy
  • Pharmacogenomic Variants
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Psychotic Disorders/drug therapy


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