A Case of Chronic Alcoholism and Torsades de Pointes
The present case has been published in the American Journal of Medical Case Reports.

Torsades de pointes is a form of polymorphic ventricular tachycardia due to prolonged ventricular repolarization represented by a prolonged QT interval on electrocardiogram.

This case report presents a patient with a history of chronic alcoholism that experienced torsades de pointes and sudden cardiac death during hospitalization for a severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation.

She was given macrolide antibiotics despite a prolonged QTc on electrocardiogram with a history of prior syncopal events. While macrolide antibiotics are known to cause QTc prolongation, chronic alcohol use has also been shown to be associated with QT prolongation.

Moreover, QT prolongation may be a predictor of sudden cardiac death in alcoholics. In addition to common medication class side effects, the effects of commonly abused and readily accessible substances such as alcohol, should also be taken into consideration.

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