ECG Changes in Melanoma Patients Undergoing Cancer Therapy—Data from the ECoR Registry
We aimed to evaluate whether therapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) leads to changes in electrocardiogram (ECG) parameters in melanoma patients. We retrospectively examined 41 patients (46% women, age 61 ± 12years) with advanced melanoma (stage III/IV) before and during ICI treatment from our “Essen Cardio-oncology Registry” (ECoR). ECGs were analyzed before and 4–12 weeks after therapy started (follow-up, 90 ± 51 days). Heart rate, PR time, QRS duration and duration of the corrected QT (QTc) interval were recorded. QT dispersion (QTd) was calculated. Heart rate, PR time, QRS and QTc did not differ when comparing values before and after therapy started. QTd was prolonged after therapy started (32 ± 16 ms vs. 47 ± 19 ms, n = 41, p < 0.0001). Subgroup analyses revealed prolonged QTd in patients that received a combination immunotherapy with ipilimumab and nivolumab (31 ± 14 ms vs. 50 ± 14 ms, n = 21, p < 0.0001), while QTd in patients with anti–programmed death 1 (PD-1) inhibitor monotherapy did not change after therapy started. QTd is prolonged in patients under ICI combination therapy, potentially signaling an increased susceptibility to ventricular arrhythmias.