BACKGROUND: Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a potentially lethal cardiac channelopathy with a 1% to 5% annual risk of LQTS-triggered syncope, aborted cardiac arrest, or sudden cardiac death.
OBJECTIVES: This study sought to evaluate LQTS outcomes from a single center in the contemporary era.
METHODS: The authors conducted a retrospective study comprising the 606 patients with LQTS (LQT1 in 47%, LQT2 in 34%, and LQT3 in 9%) who were evaluated in Mayo Clinic's Genetic Heart Rhythm Clinic from January 1999 to December 2015. Breakthrough cardiac events (BCEs) were defined as LQTS-attributable syncope or seizures, aborted cardiac arrest, appropriate ventricular fibrillation-terminating implantable cardioverter-defibrillator shocks, and sudden cardiac death.
RESULTS: There were 166 (27%) patients who were symptomatic prior to their first Mayo Clinic evaluation. Median age at first symptom was 12 years. Treatment strategies included no active therapy in 47 (8%) patients, beta-blockers alone in 350 (58%) patients, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators alone in 25 (4%) patients, left cardiac sympathetic denervation alone in 18 (3%) patients, and combination therapy in 166 (27%) patients. Over a median follow-up of 6.7 (IQR: 3.9 to 9.8) years, 556 (92%) patients have not experienced an LQTS-triggered BCE. Only 8 of 440 (2%) previously asymptomatic patients have experienced a single BCE. In contrast, 42 of 166 (25%) previously symptomatic patients have experienced ≥1 BCE. Among the 30 patients with ≥2 BCEs, 2 patients have died and 3 LQT3 patients underwent cardiac transplantation.
CONCLUSIONS: Although outcomes have improved markedly, further optimization of treatment strategies is still needed given that 1 in 4 previously symptomatic patients experienced at least 1 subsequent, albeit nonlethal, LQTS-triggered cardiac event.
- breakthrough cardiac events
- long QT syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine