Long QT Syndrome

Long QT Syndrome is a condition that affects the heart’s electrical system and may cause fast, chaotic heartbeats. It can cause fainting, and in some cases cardiac arrest. The electrical system of the heart normally functions in a pattern that causes the atria (upper chambers) and then ventricles (lower chambers) to contract. This pattern of normal electrical signals produces a normal ECG (EKG) with P, Q, R, S, and T waves. The Q-T interval represents the time for electrical activation and inactivation of the ventricles (heart’s lower chambers). In long QT syndrome, an individual is predisposed to abnormally fast heart rate. This condition increases the risk of a life-threatening arrhythmia known as ventricular tachycardia. If you have long QT syndrome you may have to limit your physical activity, avoid certain medications or have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to prevent against sudden death.

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