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Pediatric Long QT Syndrome Clinical Presentation

  • Author: Sreekanth S Raghavan, MBBS, , FACC; Chief Editor: Stuart Berger, MD  more...
 
Updated: Jun 26, 2014
 

History

The clinical diagnosis of long QT syndrome is prompted by a high degree of clinical suspicion, which arises from the presenting complaints.[6] A detailed family history for similar symptoms is warranted. The presenting complaints may include the following:

  • Unexplained bradycardia - Especially in the newborn
  • Syncope - Especially when associated with a triggering event (eg, drowning, near drowning)[6]
  • Epilepsy - Especially not controlled by conventional medications
  • Palpitations
  • Aborted or sudden cardiac death in the patient or family history of sudden cardiac death
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Depressive symptoms[7]
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Physical Examination

Certain physical findings in long QT syndrome, such as skeletal abnormalities (eg, short stature, scoliosis), may suggest Andersen syndrome, whereas congenital heart diseases, along with cognitive and behavioral problems, musculoskeletal diseases, and immune dysfunction, may suggest Timothy syndrome. Congenital deafness is seen in JLN syndrome, although the incidence of long QT syndrome in patients with congenital deafness is very low.

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Sreekanth S Raghavan, MBBS, , FACC Consulting Pediatric Cardiologist, Head and Director of Pediatric Cardiac Services, Manipal Heart Institute, India

Sreekanth S Raghavan, MBBS, , FACC is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Cardiology, American Society of Echocardiography, Pediatric Cardiac Society of India

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Stuart Berger, MD Medical Director of The Heart Center, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin; Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Cardiology, Medical College of Wisconsin

Stuart Berger, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Cardiology, American College of Chest Physicians, American Heart Association, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgements

John W Moore, MD, MPH Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Diego School of Medicine; Director of Cardiology, Rady Children's Hospital

John W Moore, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Cardiology, and Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

References
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  2. Schwartz PJ, Moss AJ, Vincent GM, Crampton RS. Diagnostic criteria for the long QT syndrome. An update. Circulation. 1993 Aug. 88(2):782-4. [Medline].

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  4. Hobbs JB, Peterson DR, Moss AJ, et al. Risk of aborted cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death during adolescence in the long-QT syndrome. JAMA. 2006 Sep 13. 296(10):1249-54. [Medline].

  5. Goldenberg I, Moss AJ, Zareba W, et al. Clinical course and risk stratification of patients affected with the Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2006 Nov. 17(11):1161-8. [Medline].

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  9. Monnig G, Eckardt L, Wedekind H, et al. Electrocardiographic risk stratification in families with congenital long QT syndrome. Eur Heart J. 2006 Sep. 27(17):2074-80. [Medline].

  10. Cuneo BF, Strasburger JF, Yu S, Horigome H, Hosono T, Kandori A. In utero diagnosis of long QT syndrome by magnetocardiography. Circulation. 2013 Nov 12. 128(20):2183-91. [Medline].

  11. Mitchell JL, Cuneo BF, Etheridge SP, Horigome H, Weng HY, Benson DW. Fetal heart rate predictors of long QT syndrome. Circulation. 2012 Dec 4. 126(23):2688-95. [Medline].

  12. Moss AJ, Shimizu W, Wilde AA, et al. Clinical aspects of type-1 long-QT syndrome by location, coding type, and biophysical function of mutations involving the KCNQ1 gene. Circulation. 2007 May 15. 115(19):2481-9. [Medline].

  13. Arnestad M, Crotti L, Rognum TO, et al. Prevalence of long-QT syndrome gene variants in sudden infant death syndrome. Circulation. 2007 Jan 23. 115(3):361-7. [Medline].

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  15. [Guideline] Epstein AE, DiMarco JP, Ellenbogen KA, et al. ACC/AHA/HRS 2008 Guidelines for Device-Based Therapy of Cardiac Rhythm Abnormalities: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Revise the ACC/AHA/NASPE 2002 Guideline Update for Implantation of Cardiac Pacemakers and Antiarrhythmia Devices) developed in collaboration with the American Association for Thoracic Surgery and Society of Thoracic Surgeons. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008 May 27. 51(21):e1-62. [Medline]. [Full Text].

  16. Bar-Cohen Y, Silka MJ. Congenital Long QT Syndrome: Diagnosis and Management in Pediatric Patients. Curr Treat Options Cardiovasc Med. 2006 Sep. 8(5):387-395. [Medline].

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  21. Chockalingam P, Crotti L, Girardengo G, Johnson JN, Harris KM, van der Heijden JF. Not all beta-blockers are equal in the management of long QT syndrome types 1 and 2: higher recurrence of events under metoprolol. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Nov 13. 60(20):2092-9. [Medline].

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Marked prolongation of QT interval in a 15-year-old male adolescent with long QT syndrome. Abnormal morphology of repolarization can be observed in almost every lead (ie, peaked T waves, bowing ST segment). Bradycardia is a common feature in patients with long QT syndrome. R-R = 1 s; QT interval = 0.56 s; QT interval corrected for heart rate (QTc) = 0.56 s.
Genetically confirmed long QT syndrome with borderline values of QT corrected for heart rate (QTc) duration in a 12-year-old girl. Note the abnormal morphology of the T wave (notches) in leads V2-V4. R-R = 0.68 s; QT interval = 0.36 s; QTc = 0.44 s.
ECG of a 13-year-old female who had a syncopal event while running to a school bus. She awoke after a few seconds, and her subsequent clinical course was uneventful.
Table 1. Genetic Basis of Long QT Syndrome, Including Jervell and Lang-Nielsen (JLN) Syndrome
Type of Long QT Syndrome Chromosomal Locus Mutated Gene Ion Current Affected
LQT111p15.5KVLQT1or KCNQ1 (heterozygotes)Potassium (IKs)
LQT27q35-36HERG, KCNH2Potassium (IKr)
LQT33p21-24SCN5ASodium (INa)
LQT44q25-27ANK2, ANKBSodium, potassium and calcium
LQT521q22.1-22.2KCNE1 (heterozygotes)Potassium (IKs)
LQT621q22.1-22.2MiRP1, KNCE2Potassium (IKr)
LQT7 (Andersen syndrome)17q23KCNJ2Potassium (IK1)
LQT8 (Timothy syndrome)12q13.3CACNA1CCalcium (ICa-Lalpha)
JLN111p15.5KVLQT1or KCNQ1 (homozygotes)Potassium (IKs)
JLN221q22.1-22.2KCNE1 (homozygotes)Potassium (IKs)
Table 2. Genetic Basis of Long QT Syndrome
Group Prolonged QTc (s) Borderline QTc (s) Reference Range (s)
Children and adolescents (< 15 y)>0.460.44-0.46< 0.44
Men>0.450.43-0.45< 0.43
Women>0.460.45-0.46< 0.45
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