24-hour electrocardiogram before and during cisapride treatment in neonates and infants

Zamora, S.A.; Belli, D.C.; Friedli, B.; Jaeggi, E.

Biology of the Neonate 85(4): 229-236


ISSN/ISBN: 0006-3126
PMID: 14730156
DOI: 10.1159/000076237
Accession: 011672077

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We studied prospectively the effects of cisapride on heart rate and rhythm using standard ECG and 24-hour ECG recordings in term and preterm neonates and infants. We studied subjects with gastroesophageal reflux disease (apparent life-threatening events, apneas, bradycardias) before and 3 days after starting cisapride (0.8 mg/kg/day in 4 doses). We performed standard ECGs for determination of corrected Q-T interval (QTc) and Q-T dispersion (QTd) and 24-hour ECG recordings for analysis of heart rate, heart rate variability, and heart rhythm. Fourteen term and 17 preterm subjects ( gestational age range 28-36 weeks) were studied at a median chronological age of 29 (range 3-132) days. Cisapride significantly increased the QTc in preterm infants ( before vs. after: 408 +/- 7 vs. 433 +/- 7 ms, p = 0.001). Two preterm and 1 term infant had a QTc 1450 ms before cisapride. Four preterm (4/15 = 27%) and 2 term (2/13 = 15%) subjects had a QTc 1450 ms on cisapride. After cisapride the QTd remained normal, and no relevant arrhythmias were documented on Holter recordings. Cisapride significantly decreased peak and mean heart rates of all study subjects without affecting the heart rate variability, while it increased the minimal heart rate of preterm infants only (before vs. after: 66 +/- 5 vs. 78 +/- 5 bpm, p = 0.02). The maximally measured R-R intervals ( pauses) decreased after cisapride in preterm infants (before vs. after: 1.33 +/- 0.2 s vs. 1.05 +/- 0.2 s, p = 0.04). Although cisapride did cause a significant prolongation of the ventricular action potential duration in preterm infants, the QTd remained unaffected, and no clinically relevant arrhythmias were documented in this small sample. On the other hand, cisapride had a direct lowering effect on the maximal and mean heart rates of both term and preterm infants, while the drug increased the minimal heart rate and reduced the severity of bradycardia episodes in preterm infants. Copyright (C) 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel.