The QT interval is an important component of the electrocardiogram, which when prolonged can predict the risk of developing the potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmia, torsades de pointes. There is growing understanding of the genetics associated with cardiac arrhythmias and an increasing number of drugs that can prolong the QT interval. Consequently, assessment of the effect of drugs on the QT interval has become a significant aspect of drug development, regulatory assessment and clinical care. Here, we review the QT interval and the risks associated with drug-induced prolongation of the QT interval.
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