Combining attentive, compassionate care with our extensive clinical and research resources, UT Southwestern's cardiology experts and vascular specialists deliver individualized care within pre-eminent health care facilities.
Long QT Syndrome
The skilled heart doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center expertly care for people who suffer from long QT syndrome.
Combining expertise and experience with the very latest techniques and technologies, our arrhythmia specialists can precisely evaluate and effectively treat this potentially life-threatening heart rhythm disorder.
Experts in Evaluating and Treating Long QT Syndrome
Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a genetic disease of the heart’s electrical system. Some patients with LQTS have no symptoms; others with the condition might experience fainting disorders, seizures, or even sudden cardiac death. The diagnosis can generally be made with an electrocardiogram.
Often a congenital heart condition, LQTS also can be caused by certain medications, stroke, or other medical conditions.
UT Southwestern’s heart doctors expertly diagnose and treat LQTS. As a leading center for treating cardiac arrhythmias, UT Southwestern offers the latest treatments and technologies, tailored to a patient’s particular condition.
UT Southwestern is also home to a dedicated Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. Cardiac rehabilitation is a critical component of recovery and can prevent future heart disease.
Symptoms of Long QT Syndrome
Patients might not experience symptoms during their normal level of activity. If they do have symptoms, they include:
- Prolonged QT intervals with intense exercise, strong emotions, or being startled
- Fainting episodes (at least one by age 10)
- Ventricular tachycardia (very fast, irregular heartbeat)
- Cardiac arrest in severe cases
- Deafness (rare)
Diagnosis of Long QT Syndrome
UT Southwestern cardiologists might perform several tests to diagnose LQTS, such as:
- Holter monitor: To detect prolonged QT intervals with a 24-hour external heart-rhythm monitoring device
- Electrocardiogram (ECG): To confirm prolonged QT intervals
- Stress test with ECG: To provide better resolution of prolonged QT intervals during strenuous exercise
Treatment of Long QT Syndrome
LQTS Treatments for LQTS include:
- Lifestyle changes, such as reducing exercise and strenuous activities
- Medications such as beta blockers to alleviate symptoms
- Surgery to restore normal cardiac electrical activity with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) or artificial pacemaker
UT Southwestern’s cardiac rehabilitation specialists create customized plans that integrate proper nutrition, exercise, and, if necessary, nicotine cessation into patients’ lifestyles to improve their cardiovascular health.
As one of the nation’s top academic medical centers, UT Southwestern offers a number of clinical trials aimed at improving the outcomes of patients with cardiovascular disease.
Clinical trials often give patients access to leading-edge treatments that are not yet widely available. Eligible patients who choose to participate in one of UT Southwestern’s clinical trials might receive treatments years before they are available to the public.