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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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  • Karsten Gjessing Jensen
  • Klaus Juul
  • Anders Fink-Jensen
  • Christoph U Correll
  • Anne Katrine Pagsberg
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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of antipsychotics on the corrected QT (QTc) interval in youth.

METHOD: We searched 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.

TidsskriftAmerican Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Journal
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)25-36
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2015

ID: 45789414