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Corrected QT changes during antipsychotic treatment of children and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of antipsychotics on the corrected QT (QTc) interval in youth.

METHOD: We searched PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed) for randomized or open clinical trials of antipsychotics in youth <18 years with QTc data, meta-analyzing the results. Meta-regression analyses evaluated the effect of age, sex, dose, and study duration on QTc. Incidences of study-defined QTc prolongation (>440-470 milliseconds), QTc >500 milliseconds, and QTc change >60 milliseconds were also evaluated.

RESULTS: A total of 55 studies were meta-analyzed, evaluating 108 treatment arms covering 9 antipsychotics and including 5,423 patients with QTc data (mean age = 12.8 ± 3.6 years, female = 32.1%). Treatments included aripiprazole: studies = 14; n = 814; haloperidol: studies = 1; n = 15; molindone: studies = 3; n = 125; olanzapine: studies = 5; n = 212; paliperidone: studies = 3; n = 177; pimozide: studies = 1; n = 25; quetiapine: studies = 5; n = 336; risperidone: studies = 23; n = 2,234; ziprasidone: studies = 10, n = 523; and placebo: studies = 19, n = 962. Within group, from baseline to endpoint, aripiprazole significantly decreased the QTc interval (-1.44 milliseconds, CI = -2.63 to -0.26, p = .017), whereas risperidone (+1.68, CI = +0.67 to +2.70, p = .001) and especially ziprasidone (+8.74, CI = +5.19 to +12.30, p < .001) significantly increased QTc. Compared to pooled placebo arms, aripiprazole decreased QTc (p = .007), whereas ziprasidone increased QTc (p < .001). Compared to placebo, none of the investigated antipsychotics caused a significant increase in the incidence of the 3 studied QTc prolongation measures, but there was significant reporting bias.

CONCLUSION: Based on these data, the risk of pathological QTc prolongation seems low during treatment with the 9 studied antipsychotics in otherwise healthy youth. Nevertheless, because individual risk factors interact with medication-related QTc effects, both medication and patient factors need to be considered when choosing antipsychotic treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Journal
Volume54
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)25-36
Number of pages12
ISSN0890-8567
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015

ID: 45789414