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Long QT Syndrome Treatment

Long QT Syndrome Treatment in College Park, MD

Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a heart rhythm disorder that causes fast and chaotic heartbeats, which can be life-threatening. While there is no cure for Long QT syndrome, some treatments help to manage the condition and reduce the risk of complications. If you have been diagnosed with Long QT syndrome, it is essential to collaborate with our board-certified Dr. John Hakim, MD to develop a suitable treatment plan for you. Contact us or book an appointment online to monitor your condition and adjust your treatment as needed. We are located at 4701 Melbourne Place College Park, MD 20740.

Long QT Syndrome Treatment Near Me in College Park, MD
Long QT Syndrome Treatment Near Me in College Park, MD

Table of Contents:

What is long QT syndrome?
What causes long QT syndrome?
What are the symptoms of long QT syndrome?
How is long QT syndrome diagnosed?
How is long QT syndrome treated?

What is long QT syndrome?

Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a heart rhythm disorder marked by extended QT intervals on an electrocardiogram (ECG). The QT interval measures the time for the heart’s electrical reset, and when prolonged, it can lead to arrhythmias, potentially causing fainting, seizures, or sudden death. LQTS can be congenital or acquired and requires careful medical management to prevent serious complications.

What causes long QT syndrome?

The causes of LQTS can be broadly classified as congenital or acquired. Congenital LQTS is typically caused by mutations in genes that control the heart’s electrical activity. These genetic mutations are commonly found in SCN5A, KCNQ1, and KCNH2 genes and can be inherited from one or both parents.
Therefore, a family history of LQTS or sudden cardiac death increases the likelihood of developing this condition. Those with congenital LQTS are often diagnosed during childhood or adolescence, although it can be detected at any age.
On the other hand, acquired LQTS can occur due to electrolyte imbalances, medication side effects, or underlying medical conditions. For example, some antibiotics, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and antiarrhythmic drugs can prolong the QT interval. For this reason, patients taking these medications should be closely monitored for changes in heart rhythm.
In addition, low levels of potassium, calcium, or magnesium can contribute to prolonged QT intervals. These imbalances can be caused by factors such as poor diet, chronic diseases, or medications like diuretics. In addition, certain health conditions, such as heart disease, bradycardia, and thyroid disorders, can increase the risk of developing LQTS.

What are the symptoms of long QT syndrome?

While symptoms of LQTS can vary widely among patients, the most common ones include:
Dizziness: Patients with LQTS often feel lightheaded or dizzy, especially during or after physical activity.

Fainting: LQTS can cause sudden loss of consciousness, often triggered by stress, exercise, or emotional excitement.

Palpitations: Sensations of rapid, fluttering, or pounding heartbeats can be a result of LQTS.

Fatigue: Extreme tiredness or lack of energy, often resulting from the heart’s reduced efficiency, may be experienced by those with this heart rhythm disorder.

Seizures: Due to prolonged periods of abnormal heart rhythms, seizures may occur.

Sudden cardiac arrest: In severe cases, LQTS can lead to sudden death, particularly if not managed properly.

How is long QT syndrome diagnosed?

Healthcare professionals use a variety of tools to accurately diagnose LQTS:
Electrocardiogram: An ECG is the primary tool for diagnosing LQTS. It measures the electrical activity of the heart and identifies prolonged QT intervals. Multiple ECGs may be required to confirm an LQTS diagnosis.

Holter monitor: This portable ECG device records heart activity over 24 to 48 hours, providing a more comprehensive view of the heart’s electrical patterns.

Stress test: This assessment is performed under medical supervision and monitors the heart’s response to exercise. It can help identify abnormal QT interval responses that may not be apparent at rest.

Genetic testing: When a genetic cause of LQTS is suspected, genetic testing can be used to identify specific mutations associated with the condition.

How is long QT syndrome treated?

LQTS is typically managed with:
Lifestyle modifications: Your doctor will recommend avoiding known triggers like intense physical activity, emotional stress, and certain medications that prolong the QT interval.

Medications: Beta-blockers can be used to reduce the heart rate and minimize the risk of arrhythmias by blunting the effects of adrenaline. For some patients, antiarrhythmic drugs may be used to stabilize the heart’s electrical activity.

Medical devices: Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) can be lifesaving for patients at high risk of sudden cardiac arrest, as they monitor heart rhythms and deliver shocks if dangerous arrhythmias occur. Pacemakers may also be used to regulate heart rate and prevent bradycardia, which can worsen LQTS.

Surgery: For some cases of LQTS, surgical interventions, such as left cardiac sympathetic denervation (LCSD), are recommended.
It’s essential to see your doctor regularly and make any necessary lifestyle changes to successfully manage long QT syndrome and reduce the risk of serious complications. For more information, contact us or book an appointment online. We are located at 4701 Melbourne Place College Park, MD 20740. We serve patients from College Park MD, Berwyn Heights MD, New Carrollton MD, Laurel MD, Seabrook MD, Mitchellville MD, Springdale MD, White Oak MD, and surrounding areas.