The risk of sudden cardiac death in patients with non-ST elevation acute coronary syndrome and prolonged QTc interval: Effect of ranolazine

Ewa Karwatowska-Prokopczuk, Whedy Wang, Mei L. Cheng, Dewan Zeng, Peter J. Schwartz, Luiz Belardinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

AimsClinical utility of QTc prolongation as a predictor for sudden cardiac death (SCD) has not been definitely established. Ranolazine causes modest QTc prolongation, yet it shows antiarrhythmic properties. We aimed to determine the association between prolonged QTc and risk of SCD, and the effect of ranolazine on this relationship.Methods and resultsThe relationship between baseline QTc and SCD was studied in 6492 patients with non-ST elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTEACS) randomized to placebo or ranolazine in the MERLIN-TIMI 36 trial. In the placebo group, an abnormal QTc interval (≥450 ms in men, ≥470 ms in women) was associated with a two-fold increased risk of SCD (hazard ratio, HR, 2.3, P = 0.005) after adjustment for other risk factors (age ≥75 years, NYHA class III/IV, high TIMI risk score, ventricular tachycardia ≥8 beats, digitalis, and antiarrhythmics). In the ranolazine group, the association between abnormal QTc and SCD was similar to placebo, but not significant (HR 1.8, P = 0.074). There was no significant difference between placebo and ranolazine in the risk for SCD in patients with abnormal QTc (HR 0.78, P = 0.48). When QTc was used as a continuous variable, for every 10 ms increase in QTc, hazard rate for SCD increased significantly by 8% (P = 0.007) in the placebo group, and only by 2.9% (P = 0.412; P for interaction=0.25) in the ranolazine group.ConclusionIn NSTEACS patients treated with placebo, prolonged QTc was a significant independent predictor for SCD. Ranolazine, compared with placebo, was not associated with increased risk for SCD in patients with prolonged QTc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-436
Number of pages8
JournalEuropace
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

Keywords

  • Acute coronary syndrome
  • QTc prolongation
  • Ranolazine
  • Sudden cardiac death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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