QTc prolongation after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage might be associated with worse neurologic outcome in patients receiving microsurgical clipping or embolization of the intracranial aneurysms: a retrospective observational study

BMC Neurol. 2024 May 23;24(1):170. doi: 10.1186/s12883-024-03679-z.


Purpose: QT interval prolongation is one of the most common electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Whether corrected QT interval (QTc) prolongation is associated with perioperative cardiac events and dismal neurological outcome in mid to long-term follow-up in patients after aSAH is insufficiently studied and remains controversial.

Methods: We retrospectively studied the adult (≥ 18 years) patients admitted to our institution between Jan 2018 and Dec 2020 for aSAH who underwent intracranial aneurysm clipping or embolization. The patients were divided into 2 groups (normal and QTc prolongation groups) according to their QTc. To minimize the confounding bias, a propensity score matching (PSM) analysis was performed to compare the neurologic outcomes between patients with normal QTc and QTc prolongation.

Results: After screening, 908 patients were finally included. The patients were divided into 2 groups: normal QTc groups (n = 714) and long QTc group (n = 194). Female sex, hypokalemia, posterior circulation aneurysm, and higher Hunt-Hess grade were associated with QTc prolongation. In multiple regression analysis, older age, higher hemoglobin level, posterior circulation aneurysm, and higher Hunt-Hess grade were identified to be associated with worse outcome during 1-year follow-up. Before PSM, patients with QTc prolongation had higher rate of perioperative cardiac arrest or ventricular arrhythmias. After PSM, there was no statistical difference between normal and QTc prolongation groups in perioperative cardiac events. However, patients in the QTc prolongation group still had worse neurologic outcome during 1-year follow-up.

Conclusions: QTc prolongation is associated with worse outcome in patients following SAH, which is independent of perioperative cardiac events.

Keywords: Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage; Corrected QT interval prolongation; Embolization; Intracranial aneurysm; Microsurgical clipping; Propensity score matching.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Electrocardiography / methods
  • Embolization, Therapeutic* / adverse effects
  • Embolization, Therapeutic* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm* / complications
  • Intracranial Aneurysm* / surgery
  • Long QT Syndrome* / etiology
  • Male
  • Microsurgery / adverse effects
  • Microsurgery / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage* / complications
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage* / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome