torsades de pointes

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12-lead ECG of Torsades de Pointes (TdP) in a 56-year-old patient with low blood potassium and low blood magnesium

Alternative forms[edit]


From French torsader (to twist), de (of), and pointe (a(n ECG) spike), from the characteristic/classic appearance of the associated electrocardiogram image of a turning of the QRS complex's orientation around the isoelectric baseline (namely peaks which are at first f.e. pointing up are progressively seen to be diminishing in height and then pointing further and further down for subsequent heartbeats); term coined by the French physician François Dessertenne in 1966.


  • IPA(key): /tɔː(ɹ)ˈsɑːd də ˈpwænt/


torsades de pointes (uncountable)

  1. (medicine) a polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, predisposing to sudden cardiac death and more likely to occur during prolongations of the QT interval


Further reading[edit]