Know the basics
What is long QT syndrome?
Long QT syndrome is a disease of the heart when the heart electrical system become abnormal. In long QT syndrome, myocardial need more time than usual to recharge between beats. This tamper with electricity in the heart and can often be seen on the electrocardiogram (ECG) through prolonged interval between the Q wave and T. This syndrome can lead to some serious arrhythmia and be fatal.
How common is long QT syndrome?
Long QT syndrome occurs in both children and adolescents. The disease usually starts between the ages of 8 to 20. According Prolonged QT syndrome incidence is about 1/5,000. You can limit your ability to disease by reducing the risk factors. Please consult your doctor for more information.
Know the symptoms
What are the symptoms of long QT syndrome?
Signs and symptoms of long QT syndrome, often linked to heart rhythm disturbances and include:
- Unexplained Fainting: This symptom occurs because the heart does not pump enough blood to the brain. Fainting usually occurs over a period of stress physically or emotionally.
- Unexplained drowning while swimming: symptoms can be caused by fainting.
- Sudden cardiac arrest of unknown cause: Symptoms may cause patients die within minutes if not timely medical assistance. This is the first symptom in 1 of 10 patients with long QT syndrome.
Other symptoms include:
- Continuous Palpitations (rapid heart beat);
- Shortness of breath during sleep due to an irregular heartbeat;
Sometimes long QT syndrome does not cause any signs or symptoms. Therefore, doctors often recommend that families of patients with long QT syndrome exam even without symptoms to prevent the disease.
There may be other symptoms not mentioned. If you have any questions about these signs, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
You should see your doctor immediately if you ever suddenly fainting during exertion or doing something, there is excitement or after use of a new drug. You should also check whether you have long QT syndrome if having sick family members.
Know the causes
What causes long QT syndrome?
The causes of long QT syndrome may be inherited, caused by a gene mutation process control heart’s electrical system. At least 12 genes and hundreds of gene mutations have been identified associated with long QT syndrome.
In addition, long QT syndrome may also be caused by certain drugs such as quinidine, procainamide, disopyramide, amiodarone and sotalol. Antidepressants, antipsychotics, some allergy medication given. Antibiotics such as erythromycin in combination with ketoconazole fungicides can also cause this syndrome. People who develop prolonged QT syndrome drug may have some genetic defects in cardiac complex, making easy slowed heartbeat while taking certain drugs and lead to long QT syndrome.
Know the risk factors
What increases my risk for long QT syndrome?
These factors may increase the risk of long QT Syndrome, include:
- Children, adolescents, young people fainting, near drowning or accident, unexplained seizures or a history of cardiac arrest.
- Relatives of people with long QT syndrome.
- Side effects of some medications.
- Those with levels of potassium, magnesium, calcium, low blood or nerve anorexia.
Understand the diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is long QT syndrome diagnosed?
Long QT syndrome can be diagnosed through:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG): This is a simple test that detects and records the electrical activity of the heart. This test can help doctors see prolonged time period between Q and T waves and other signs of long QT syndrome. However, QT may change over time. Therefore, patients may need to monitor ECG for days or weeks.
- Review a history and physical examination: the doctor may ask about symptoms and medications that you have used to diagnose and find out the cause.
- Results of genetic testing: can help doctors detect the genetic factors of long QT syndrome.
How is long QT syndrome treated?
The patient may not need treatment unless symptoms appear or do not have a family history of sudden death. However, should avoid heavy sports, excessive exercise and drugs have the potential to cause long QT syndrome.
If the symptoms of arrhythmia have appeared or have a family history of sudden death who, the doctor will treat you with the following methods:
Doctors can give patients using beta-blockers to control the rhythm when it starts beating rhythm. Your doctor may also suggest using sodium channel blockers, such as mexiletine to reduce the activity of sodium ion channels.
Drugs designated by the doctor can not cure long QT syndrome, but doctors will administer some drugs to control abnormal heart rhythms. Beta blockers can be prolonged use.
Pacemakers and defibrillators (ICDs) are small devices help control abnormal heart rhythms. Both devices will use electric current to restore a normal heart rhythm when the heart starts operating abnormally. The patient will be implanted pacemaker and defibrillator in his chest or abdomen through minor surgery cases.
Patients at high risk of death due to prolonged QT syndrome can sometimes be treated with surgery to remove the nerve to make the heart beat faster when there is tension physically and emotionally.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage long QT syndrome?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with long QT syndrome:
- This syndrome may be hereditary. Immediately inform health professionals about the family history of the disease and early death.
- Consult experts or other families for support. The doctor and cardiologist, specialist genetic counseling, psychiatrist or psychologist can help you.
- Do not over exert yourself something and always prepared psychologically to avoid strong emotions. These are factors that may trigger symptoms of arrhythmia.
- Inform your situation for the people around know to take measures timely support when you appear symptoms.
- Learn the symptoms of the disease to get a deal and prevention.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Long QT Syndrome. nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/qt. Accessed July 30, 2015.
Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017