The QT interval was measured in 12 normal and 7 aborted sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) infants in rapid eye movement (REM) and quiet sleep at monthly intervals through the age of 4 months. An accuracy of better than 2 msec was assured by high resolution of the digitized signal and calibration of each QT measurement with an accurately generated time code. In contrast to current speculations, the QT index was significantly smaller in the infants with aborted SIDS than in the normal infants in both REM and quiet sleep (P less than 0.05). In addition, as in normal infants, the QTc was smaller in REM than in quiet sleep (P less than 0.01). Although these results offer no support for the hypothesis that SIDS results from prolongation of the QT interval, they suggest that aborted SIDS infants have a functional abnormality in the autonomic nervous system.