Cardiac safety assays

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2014 Apr:15:16-21. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2013.11.004. Epub 2013 Nov 27.


Cardiac safety, including the risk of drug-induced 'torsades de pointes' (TdP) arrhythmia, is a major concern in the development, approval and prescription of new drugs. Assessment of surrogate markers of TdP-risk, such as QT-interval prolongation or inhibition of the rapid delayed-rectifier K(+)-current (IKr) encoded by the human ether-a-go-go-related gene (hERG), is therefore required before drug approval. Here, we review some methodologies employed to assess proarrhythmia liability of drugs, discuss the challenges involved in this process, and highlight promising novel cardiac-safety assays.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Delayed Rectifier Potassium Channels / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays / methods
  • Humans
  • Torsades de Pointes / chemically induced*
  • Torsades de Pointes / prevention & control*


  • Delayed Rectifier Potassium Channels