The epileptic baboon provides a natural model of idiopathic generalized epilepsy and sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). This retrospective, case-controlled study aims to evaluate cardiac biomarkers of epilepsy, specifically QT-interval prolongation and heart rate variability (HRV), in pedigreed, captive baboons undergoing scalp electroencephalography (EEG). We retrospectively identified 21 epileptic (nine females, mean age = 11.4 ± 5.4 years) and 19 asymptomatic control (12 females, mean age = 10.5 ± 6.3 years) baboons, who had undergone scalp EEG studies with an artifact-free, 10-beat electrocardiogram sample. All baboons were sedated with subanesthetic doses of ketamine prior to electrode placement. PR, QT, and RR intervals were measured, and Fridericia-corrected QT duration (QTcF) and root mean square of successive differences between RR intervals (RMSSD; representative of HRV) values were compared between the groups. The epilepsy group had significantly prolonged QT and QTcF intervals (P =.005) compared to controls. RMSSD values were nonsignificantly decreased in epileptic baboons compared to the control group. This study demonstrates cardiac repolarization anomalies and reduction of HRV in epileptic baboons, providing new cardiac biomarkers in pedigreed baboons and potential risk factors for SUDEP.
- QT interval
- heart rate variability
- sudden unexpected death in epilepsy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology