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Scrub Typhus and Abnormal Electrocardiography

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  • 1 Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Chosun University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea;
  • | 2 Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Chosun University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea;
  • | 3 The Division of Natural Medical Sciences, College of Health Science, Chosun University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea

This study compared the frequency of abnormal electrocardiogram (ECG) types between scrub typhus patient group and age- and gender-matched health checkup group and their associations with disease severity in scrub typhus patient. Demographic characteristics and ECG and laboratory findings of patients with scrub typhus admitted to Chosun University Hospital, and normal subjects visiting the hospital for health checkup from January 2008 to December 2012 were retrospectively studied. Electrocardiogram abnormalities at admission were observed in 72 of 165 (43.6%) scrub typhus confirmed patients. The following ECG abnormalities were observed: arrhythmic group (31 cases, 18.8%), ischemic change group (25 cases, 15.1%), prolonged QT group (32 cases, 19.4%).Compared with the age and gender-matched health checkup group, ECG abnormalities were more commonly observed in scrub typhus patient group (13.9% versus 43.6%, P < 0.001). In addition, when compared with the normal ECG group, scrub typhus in the abnormal ECG group showed greater disease severity and this phenomenon was particularly prominent in the prolonged QT group. Based on our study prolonged QT observed in approximately 20% of patients with scrub typhus, clinicians should pay additional attention to drugs that affect QT interval.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Dong-Min Kim, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Chosun University, 588 Seosuk-dong, Dong-gu, Gwangju 501-717, Republic of Korea. E-mail: drongkim@chosun.ac.kr

Authors’ addresses: Seo-Won Choi, Na Ra Yun, Dong-Hyun Choi, Young-Jae Ki, and Dong-Min Kim, Internal medicine, Chosun University, College of Medicine, Gwangju, Republic of Korea, E-mails: mdswchoi@gmail.com, shine@chosun.ac.kr, dhchoi@chosun.ac.kr, bonds0427@naver.com, and drongkim@chosun.ac.kr. Seok Won Kim, Department of Neurosurgery, Chosun University College of Medicine, Gwangju, Republic of Korea, E-mail: chosunns@chosun.ac.kr. Choon-Mee Kim, Premedical Science, College of Medicine, Gwangju, Republic of Korea, E-mail: choonmee@chosun.ac.kr.

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