Long QT Syndrome
Long QT Syndrome (LQTS) is a genetic heart disease in which the electrical function of the heart is disturbed: this can cause severe arrhythmias. LQTS is caused by defects in the cardiac muscle cells when potassium ions do not work properly. By about 80% of people with LQTS, a hereditary cause (change in the DNA) is found.
1 of the
newborn children has signs of LQTS (cardiovascular examination)
The most common types of LQTS are:
Type 1 • Gene mutation KCNQ1
The symptoms may occur mainly during physical exercise (particularly swimming) and stress.
Type 2 • Gene mutation KCNH2
The symptoms may occur mainly on startling (loud noises or emotional stress).
Type 3 • Gene mutation SCN5A
The symptoms may especially occur at night or during rest (when the heart rate is slower).
In the course of life
The symptoms usually occur in childhood and during sleep or rest. People with LQTS may become dizzy, faint or even suddenly can die. The symptoms vary from gene carrier to gene carrier: some may experience severe heart problems while others have no symptoms at all. Most types of LQTS have been listed (many other types exist but are very rare). If you have some symptoms, it is important to discuss it with your GP or cardiologist so that a cardiovascular examination can be carried out.
ACCORDING TO SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS AND DEPENDING ON LQTS TYPES
Depending on the symptoms and the LQTS type, beta-blockers can be prescribed.
ICD / Pacemaker
If there is a risk of dangerous cardiac arrhythmia, an ICD can be implemented.
LQTS patients should strongly avoid intensive exercise and stress.
An ultrasound of the heart provides a clear image and sound of the function and shape of the heart muscle and valves.
The MRI examination, which generates radio wave (magnetic) signals, provides a clear picture of the heart (chambers).
In an electrocardiogram, the electrical signals of the heartbeats are properly recorded and can be analyzed.
• Cardiovascular examination may also include a Holter monitor test and/or an exercise test/cycle test.
Discuss it with your GP or cardiologist
If you’re experiencing some signs and symptoms, or if other family members have been found with a predisposition for the genetic heart disease LQTS, please discuss it with your GP/cardiologist so that additional cardiovascular examination can be assessed.