Electrocardiographic Evaluation in Patients With Spinal Muscular Atrophy: A Case-Control Study

Raffaele Falsaperla, Giovanna Vitaliti, Ausilia Desiree Collotta, Chiara Fiorillo, Alfredo Pulvirenti, Salvatore Alaimo, Catia Romano, Martino Ruggieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: This study aimed to show the impairment of autonomic cardiac conduction causing bradycardia and/or electrocardiographic alterations in children affected by spinal muscular atrophy type 1 and 2 (SMA 1 and 2). Methods: We included 25 spinal muscular atrophy patients, admitted from November 2016 to May 2017. All patients underwent an electrocardiographic examination and we studied PR and QRS intervals, P-waves and QRS amplitudes, and heart rate in spinal muscular atrophy patients compared to a control group. Results: In all patients, we found longer PRi and QRSi (P <.05), lower P-wave and QRS complex amplitudes (P <.01), and a decreased heart rate (P <.01) with respect to controls. When we divided our patients into SMA1 and SMA2 subgroups, we found that statistical differences were maintained for P-wave and QRS complex amplitudes and heart rate, but not for PRi and QRSi with respect to controls. Conclusion: We suggest the hypothesis of SMN expression on cardiac tissue condition and/or autonomic cardiac conduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-492
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2018



  • autonomic cardiac conduction
  • bradycardia
  • electrocardiogram

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Falsaperla, R., Vitaliti, G., Collotta, A. D., Fiorillo, C., Pulvirenti, A., Alaimo, S., Romano, C., & Ruggieri, M. (2018). Electrocardiographic Evaluation in Patients With Spinal Muscular Atrophy: A Case-Control Study. Journal of Child Neurology, 33(7), 487-492. https://doi.org/10.1177/0883073818767170