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Genetics of Long QT Syndrome


David J. Tester ,

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, US
About David J.
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Michael J. Ackerman

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, US
About Michael J.
M.D., Ph.D.
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Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a potentially life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia characterized by delayed myocardial repolarization that produces QT prolongation and increased risk for torsades des pointes (TdP)-triggered syncope, seizures, and sudden cardiac death (SCD) in an otherwise healthy young individual with a structurally normal heart. Currently, there are three major LQTS genes (KCNQ1, KCNH2, and SCN5A) that account for approximately 75% of the disorder. For the major LQTS genotypes, genotype-phenotype correlations have yielded gene-specific arrhythmogenic triggers, electrocardiogram (ECG) patterns, response to therapies, and intragenic and increasingly mutation-specific risk stratification. The 10 minor LQTS-susceptibility genes collectively account for less than 5% of LQTS cases. In addition, three atypical LQTS or multisystem syndromic disorders that have been associated with QT prolongation have been described, including ankyrin-B syndrome, Anderson-Tawil syndrome (ATS), and Timothy syndrome (TS). Genetic testing for LQTS is recommended in patients with either a strong clinical index of suspicion or persistent QT prolongation despite their asymptomatic state. However, genetic test results must be interpreted carefully.

How to Cite: 1. Tester DJ, Ackerman MJ. Genetics of Long QT Syndrome. Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal. 2014;10(1):29-33. DOI:
Published on 01 Jan 2014.
Peer Reviewed


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