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March 1968

Hypocalcemia and Cardiac Arrhythmias

Author Affiliations

From the Children's Medical and Surgical Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. Dr. Johnson is currently at the Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the Laboratory of Clinical Science, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md.

Am J Dis Child. 1968;115(3):373-376. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1968.02100010375014

THE BEST KNOWN clinical effect on the heart of hypocalcemia is prolongation of the QT interval, ie, prolongation of electrical systole.1-6 Only recently has cardiac arrhythmia been reported as a clinical manifestation of hypocalcemia.7,8 This report describes a child with hypocalcemic vitamin D deficient rickets who presented with bizarre cardiac arrhythmias which were corrected following oral calcium and vitamin D2 therapy.

Report of a Case  This 5½-year-old Negro boy was admitted to the Johns Hopkins Hospital because of tachycardia discovered during a routine visit to the cardiac clinic. He had been followed by the Growth and Development Program of Johns Hopkins Hospital since age 4 months, and had been noted to have marked motor and mental retardation. In addition, a heart murmur had been heard consistently since 1 year of age. Previous chest x-ray films had revealed mild cardiac enlargement and an electrocardiogram had shown right ventricular

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