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1.  Increased dispersion of ventricular repolarization in emery dreifuss muscular dystrophy patients 
Summary
Background
Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is common in patients with Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD) and is attributed to the development of life-threatening arrhythmias that occur in the presence of normal left ventricular systolic function. Heterogeneity of ventricular repolarization is considered to provide an electrophysiological substrate for malignant arrhythmias. QTc dispersion (QTc-D) and JTc dispersion (JTc-D) are electrocardiographic parameters indicative of heterogeneity of ventricular repolarization. The aim of our study was to evaluate the heterogeneity of ventricular repolarization in patients with Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy with preserved systolic and diastolic cardiac function
Material/Methods
The study involved 36 EDMD patients (age 20±12, 26 M) and 36 healthy subjects used as controls, matched for age and sex. Heart rate, QRS duration, maximum and minimum QT and JT interval, QTc-D and JTc-D measurements were performed.
Results
Compared to the healthy control group, the EDMD group presented increased values of QTc-D (82.7±44.2 vs. 53.1±13.7; P=0,003) and JTc-D (73.6±32.3 vs. 60.4±11.1 ms; P=0.001). No correlation between QTc dispersion and ejection fraction (R=0.2, P=0.3) was found.
Conclusions
Our study showed a significant increase of QTc-D and JTc-D in Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy patients with preserved systolic and diastolic cardiac function.
doi:10.12659/MSM.883541
PMCID: PMC3560603  PMID: 23111739
Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD); sudden cardiac death (SCD); ventricular repolarization; QTc dispersion; JTc dispersion
2.  Atrial Fibrillation and Beta Thalassemia Major: The Predictive Role of the 12-lead Electrocardiogram Analysis 
Background
Paroxysmal atrial tachyarrhythmias frequently occur in beta-thalassemia major (β-TM) patients.The aim of our study was to investigate the role of maximum P-wave duration (P max) and dispersion (PD), calculated trough a new manually performed measurement with the use of computer software from all 12-ECG-leads,as predictors of atrial-fibrillation (AF) in β-TM patients with conserved systolic or diastolic cardiac function during a twelve-months follow-up.
Materials and Methods
50 β-TM-patients (age38.4±10.1; 38M) and 50-healthy subjects used as controls, matched for age and gender, were studied for the occurrence of atrial arrhythmias during a 1-year follow-up, through ECG-Holter-monitoring performed every three months. The β-TM-patients were divided into two groups according to number and complexity of premature-supraventricular-complexes at the Holter-Monitoring (Group1: <30/h and no repetitive forms, n:35; Group2: >30/h or couplets, or run of supraventricular tachycardia and AF, n:15).
Results
Compared to the healthy control-group, β-TM patients presented increased P-max (107.5± 21.2 vs 92.1±11ms, P=0.03) and PD-values (41.2±13 vs 25.1±5 ms,P=0.03). In the β-TM population, the Group2 showed a statistically significant increase in PD (42.8±8.6 vs 33.2±6.5ms, P<0.001) and P-max (118.1±8.7 vs 103.1±7.5ms, P<0.001) compared to the Group1. Seven β-TM patients who showed paroxysmal AF during this study had significantly increased P-max and PD than the other patients of the Group2. Moreover, P-max (OR:2.01; CI:1.12-3.59; P=0.01) and PD (OR=2.06;CI:1.17-3.64;P=0.01) demonstrated a statistically significant association with the occurrence of paroxysmal AF,P min was not associated with AF-risk (OR=0.99; CI:0.25-3.40; P=0.9) in β-TM-patients. A cut-off value of 111ms for P-max had a sensitivity of 80% and a specificity of 87%, a cut-off value of 35.5ms for PD had a sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of 85% in identifying β-TM patients at risk for AF.
Conclusion
Our results indicate that P-max and PD are useful electrocardiographic markers for identifying the β-TM-high-risk patients for AF onset, even when the cardiac function is conserved.
PMCID: PMC4032779  PMID: 24948851
beta-thalassemia major; P-wave dispersion; atrial fibrillation
3.  The heart and cardiac pacing in Steinert disease 
Acta Myologica  2012;31(2):110-116.
Myotonic dystrophy (Dystrophia Myotonica, DM) is the most frequently inherited neuromuscular disease of adult life. It is a multisystemic disease with major cardiac involvement. Core features of myotonic dystrophy are myotonia, muscle weakness, cataract, respiratory failure and cardiac conduction abnormalities. Classical DM, first described by Steinert and called Steinert's disease or DM1 (Dystrophia Myotonica type 1) has been identified as an autosomal dominant disorder associated with the presence of an abnormal expansion of a CTG trinucleotide repeat in the 3' untranslated region of DMPK gene on chromosome 19. This review will mainly focus on the various aspects of cardiac involvement in DM1 patients and the current role of cardiac pacing in their treatment.
PMCID: PMC3476856  PMID: 23097601
myotonic dystrophy type 1; arrhythmias; cardiac pacing

Results 1-3 (3)