QT Syndrome

What is Long QT Syndrome What are its signs and symptoms?

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What is Long QT Syndrome What are its signs and symptoms?

Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a heart rhythm condition that can potentially cause fast, chaotic heartbeats. These rapid heartbeats might trigger you to suddenly faint. Some people with the condition have seizures. In some severe cases, LQTS can cause sudden death.

QT Syndrome

In the following, we will introduce you to the long QT syndrome (LQTS – Long QT syndrome), which is known by several other names, such as: long QT syndrome, prolongation of the QT interval, and long QT wave syndrome.

What is long QT syndrome? 

 is a rare disorder that may affect the heart’s electrical rhythm, and may cause the development of a serious type of arrhythmia called torsades de pointes, as this type of arrhythmia may cause sudden cardiac death (Sudden cardiac death). death).

In normal cases, the electrical activity in the heart is generated by the movement of some charged metal ions in the heart , such as calcium, sodium and potassium ions, as these ions continue to enter and exit the heart cells continuously through minute channels.

 The QT interval, which is associated with the syndrome, is the time it takes for the heart’s electrical system to fire one wave to recharge the heart, meaning the time it takes for the heart muscle to contract and relax again.

However, when there is a defect in the ion channels mentioned above, it may take longer than usual for the electrical system in the heart to be able to recharge the heart muscle again after each beat.

Causes of long QT syndrome  

 is classified into several different types, depending on the cause that led to its emergence, as follows:

1. Congenital long QT syndrome

In this type, the cause of the syndrome is a defect in the genes related to the ion channels in the heart, and this defect is usually hereditary . Long QT syndrome of congenital classified in several types depending on the way that may be inherited by the patient, such as: [Reference]

  • Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome: where both parents carry the gene that causes the syndrome without showing symptoms of the syndrome in some cases.
  • Romano-Ward syndrome (RWS): where one parent has the syndrome, and the other is healthy. 

2. Acquired long QT syndrome

This type may be triggered by external factors, such as: 

  • Imbalance in the levels of some types of electrolytes, as in the following cases: potassium deficiency and calcium deficiency.
  • Having some health problems, such as: malnutrition, hypothyroidism, heart failure, and bradycardia.
  • Use of some types of medicines, such as: antibiotics and antifungals.

Symptoms of long QT syndrome 

Some people with this syndrome may not show any symptoms, but other times the patient may have certain symptoms, such as:

  • Palpitations .
  • Chest pain, or shortness of breath.
  • Fainting, or the patient becoming in a state in which he is about to faint.
  • Dizziness affects the patient from time to time.
  • Cardiac arrest (Cardiac arrest).

The apparent symptoms are related to arrhythmia of the ripple-point type, as this type of arrhythmia may cause an imbalance and an acceleration of the pulse in the ventricles area specifically, which disrupts the ability of the heart to pump blood to the body, so that the symptoms mentioned begin to appear, especially during the following: exercise, and sleep .


These are the most important procedures that may be followed to diagnose this syndrome:

  • Asking the patient about whether he had previously fainted while exercising , or whether there were previous cases of this syndrome within his family. 
  • Check the levels of the following minerals: calcium, potassium, and magnesium.  
  • Subjecting the patient to the following tests: electrocardiogram , genetic tests, and exercise stress test. 


Treatments used in the case of long QT syndrome aim to try to reduce the chances of deterioration of the patient’s condition and death, and these are the most important treatment methods that may be followed:

  • Use of certain medications, such as beta-blockers.
  • Avoid using some types of medications that may adversely affect this condition, such as: migraine medications and cholesterol-lowering medications. 
  • Treating some health problems that may have contributed to the emergence of the condition. 
  • Implanting certain instruments in the patient’s body, such as a pacemaker.

What about short QT syndrome?

An important thing should be noted, which is that the term QT ​​syndrome often refers to the long QT syndrome that we discussed above, a type that researchers began studying decades ago, but there is also Short QT syndrome (SQT syndrome – SQTS) that researchers monitored and began studying some time ago. relatively short.

When you have short QT syndrome , and unlike the previous type, in which the heart takes a long time to restore its normal state after each beat, the heart is able to restore its normal state after contracting in this syndrome within a shorter than normal period. The causes of this syndrome are often a genetic defect, that is, it often cannot be acquired. 

Short QT syndrome may not cause ripple-point type arrhythmias, but it may cause three other types of arrhythmias:

  • Atrial fibrillation (Atrial fibrillation).
  • Ventricular tachycardia.
  • Ventricular fibrillation.

In addition, short QT syndrome is similar to long QT syndrome in many ways, including symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

source : wikipedia

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