QT interval prolongation and arrhythmia: An unbreakable connection?

M. E. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


QT interval prolongation is incontrovertibly linked to increased risk of arrhythmias but, paradoxically, QT interval prolongation can also be an effective antiarrhythmic strategy and is in fact the goal of class III antiarrhythmic drugs. This discussion examines the cellular effects of QT interval prolongation and proposes that calmodulin kinase II (CaMKII) is a specific cellular proarrhythmic signal that is activated downstream to QT interval prolongation. Inhibition of CaMKII can prevent cellular arrhythmia surrogates and in vivo arrhythmias linked to excessive action potential prolongation, suggesting that QT interval prolongation alone does not fully account for proarrhythmia. This reasoning points to the conclusion that QT interval modulation and prolongation not only grades cellular Ca2+ entry for cardiac contraction but also has the potential to recruit Ca 2+-activated signalling molecules. CaMKII is one of these molecules and CaMKII activity is at least partially responsible for the proarrhythmic consequences of excessive QT interval prolongation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Internal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Action potential
  • Arrhythmia
  • Calcium
  • Calmodulin kinase II
  • QT interval

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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