Improving long QT syndrome diagnosis by a polynomial-based T-wave morphology characterization

Ben J. M. Hermans*, Frank C. Bennis, Arja S. Vink, Tijmen Koopsen, Aurore Lyon, Arthur A. M. Wilde, Dieter Nuyens, Tomas Robyns, Laurent Pison, Pieter G. Postema, Tammo Delhaas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Web of Science)


BACKGROUND Diagnosing long QT syndrome (LQTS) remains challenging because of a considerable overlap in QT interval between patients with LQTS and healthy subjects. Characterizing T-wave morphology might improve LQTS diagnosis.

OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to improve LQTS diagnosis by combining new polynomial-based T-wave morphology parameters with the corrected QT interval (QTc), age, and sex in a model.

METHODS A retrospective cohort consisting of 333 patients with LQTS and 345 genotype-negative family members was used in this study. For each patient, a linear combination of the first 2 Hermite-Gauss (HG) polynomials was fitted to the STT segments of an average complex of all precordial leads and limb leads I and II. The weight coefficients as well as the error of the best fit were used to characterize T-wave morphology. Subjects were classified as patients with LQTS or controls by clinical QTc cutoffs and 3 support vector machine models fed with different features. An external cohort consisting of 72 patients and 45 controls was finally used to check the robustness of the models.

RESULTS Baseline QTc cutoffs were specific but had low sensitivity in diagnosing LQTS. The model with T-wave morphology features, QTc, age, and sex had the best overall accuracy (84%), followed by a model with QTc, age, and sex (79%). The model with T-wave morphology features especially performed better in LQTS type 3 patients (69%).

CONCLUSION T-wave morphologies can be characterized by fitting a linear combination of the first 2 Hermite-Gauss polynomials. Adding T-wave morphology characterization to age, sex, and QTc in a support vector machine model improves LQTS diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752-758
Number of pages7
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Diagnosis
  • LQTS
  • Machine learning
  • QT
  • T-wave morphology

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