Introduction: It is believed that an exaggerated blood pressure response (EBPR) to exercise stress test is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular events. It is also assumed that QT dispersion (QT-d), which was originally proposed to measure the spatial dispersion of ventricular recovery times, may have a relationship to cardiovascular events. The objective of this study was to examine the difference of changes in QT-d, Maxi-QT, Mini-QT, and QT-c (corrected QT interval) of the electrocardiogram in two groups of patients with exaggerated blood pressure responses (EBPR group) and normal responses (control group) to exercise testing. Also, the diagnostic value of each of these criteria in the prediction of EBPR was studied. 

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from May 2015 to February 2016 on patients suspected of coronary artery disease (CAD) undergoing exercise testing who had been referred to Ghaem and Imam Reza hospitals in Mashhad (Iran). All patients underwent a treadmill exercise test with the 12-lead ECG, which was optically scanned and digitized for analysis of QT-d, QT max, and QT min. Patients were divided into two groups of normal and EBPR to exercise testing. QT changes of ECG were compared between the two groups, and the diagnostic accuracy of QT variables for prediction of EBPR to exercise testing was studied. A multiple linear regression analysis (MLR), Pearson Chi-qquare, independent samples t-test, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve were used as statistical methods in IBM SPSS version 19. 

Results: Sixty patients (55% male) with a mean age of 50.48 ± 10.89 years were studied in two groups of normal (n=30) and exaggerated blood pressure response (n=30) to exercise testing. Maximum QT and QT dispersion were statistically different in individuals’ exaggerated blood pressure response to exercise stress test (p < 0.05). The logistic regression analysis revealed that none of our parameters predicted the EBPR. The ROC curve showed that 50 and 345 milliseconds for QT dispersion and Maxi-QT were the optimal cut-off points for the prediction of EBPR.

Conclusion: It seems that Maxi-QT and QT-d may be predictors of EBPR during exercise testing. Also, a significant difference in maxi-QT and QT-d was observed between two groups of patients with normal and EBPR during the exercise testing.


Keywords: Exaggerated blood pressure response, QT dispersion, Exercise stress test, EBPR exaggerated blood pressure response, QT dispersion, Exercise stress test, EBPR
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