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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 154-158

Comparative study of heart rate, QT and QTc intervals during the different phases of the menstrual cycle

1 Department of Physiology, JSS Medical College, JSS University, Mysore, India
2 Department of Physiology, Basaveshwara Medical College, Chitradurga, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Rajeshwari Lokeshwaraiah
Department of Physiology, JSS Medical College, Mysore 570 015, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-344X.138589

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Background and Objectives: The menstrual cycle is much more than a cycle of periods. Gonadal hormones influence the cardiovascular system both directly and indirectly. Ventricular arrhythmias are more common in women and seem to exhibit variation in accordance with the menstrual cycle. There are contradictory hypotheses regarding the influence of the menstrual cycle on the QT and QT c intervals of electrocardiogram (ECG). This study is an attempt to evaluate the effect of different phases of the menstrual cycle on the QT and QT c intervals of ECG. Materials and Methods: A total of 30 healthy female students, who were aged 18-22 years and had regular menstrual cycles over past 6 months, were included in the study. All the subjects were monitored on three separate occasions during two consecutive menstrual cycles. ECG was recorded for 5 min in Lead-II using ADInstruments PowerLab, once during every phase. The computerized recordings of heart rate (HR), QT and QT c intervals thus obtained were analyzed statistically using repeated measures ANOVA, at P < 0.05 to assess if any significant difference existed in these parameters during the different phases of the menstrual cycle. Results: This study showed the HR was highest in the luteal phase when compared with the follicular and menstrual phases, while the QT and QT c intervals were prolonged in the follicular phase of the cycle in comparison to the other two phases. The differences in both QT and QT c intervals between the phases were statistically significant. Conclusion: This study showed prolonged QT and QT c intervals during the follicular phase, which maybe aggravated in individuals on concurrent treatment with drugs that may further increase the QT c interval. This would increase the predisposition of developing potentially fatal arrhythmia in such women. Hence, such drugs must be prescribed with caution.

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