QT dispersion in mild cognitive impairment: a possible tool for predicting the risk of progression to dementia?


Correspondence to: Prof. Ludovico Coppola, MD, E-mail: ludovico.coppola@unina2.it



The aim of this research was to investigate relationships between cognitive function and non-invasive, repeatable cardiac parameters in elderly subjects suffering from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer's disease (AD).


Two hundred and twenty-four community-living elderly subjects, 31 AD patients, 77 MCI patients, and 116 cognitively normal subjects (CNS), were evaluated for cognitive abilities (Mini Mental State Examination score (MMSE)) and for electrocardiographic [corrected heart rate QT interval dispersion (QTcD)] and echocardiographic [Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF)] parameters.


Mean values of LVEF were not significantly different between the three groups; QTcD mean values were significantly lower in CNS group than in subjects with MCI and AD. The Pearson Product Moment Correlation test, carried out in the three study groups, showed a significant inverse correlation between QTcD and MMSE score (r = −0.357; p < 0.01) in the group of MCI patients, only. In multivariable-adjusted linear regression tests, QTcD (p = 0.030) and education (p = 0.021) are associated with MMSE score in MCI group. Only the parameter of education appears to predict MMSE in CNS group; none of these parameters appear to predict MMSE in the group of patients with AD.


The association between QTcD and MMSE requires cautious interpretation and further extensive investigation. However, if confirmed by longitudinal studies, the finding could play a role in the management of the subjects with MCI. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.