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Long QT syndrome

A rare cause of sudden cardiac death. The long QT syndrome may be inherited or acquired. Often the syndrome goes hand in hand with other anomalies such as hearing impairment or a potassium metabolism imbalance. 

A diagnostic clue is the elongation of the interval between Q and T on an ECG graph, from which the syndrome gained its name. 
The syndrome is characterized by the rapid onset of paroxysmal tachycardia (rapid heart beating) which often occurs in the form of dangerous "torsades de pointes" tachycardia (“twisting of the spikes”). Spells of dizziness, fainting or loss of consciousness (syncope) and cardiac arrest 
(ventricular fibrillation) can result from Long QT Syndrome. Treatment with beta-blockers or the implantation of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is standard therapy. Patients with this disease are at risk when exercising or participating in certain sports (especially those which result in rapid stress at the beginning or end of the activity). Therefore, extensive consultation and sufficient caution in regard to the ingestion of so-called QT interval prolonging drugs are some of the most important measures in regard to this disease.
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