Efficacy of permanent pacing in the management of high-risk patients with long QT syndrome.
BACKGROUND From the international long QT syndrome (LQTS) study, 30 patients with corrected QT interval (QTc) of more than 0.44 second 1/2 were identified who had permanent pacemakers implanted for management of recurrent syncope or aborted cardiac arrest.
METHODS AND RESULTS Pacemakers were implanted on average 7 years after the onset of the first syncopal episode. Most of the patients were female (87%), the average age at implantation was 19 +/- 13 years, the mean QTc was 0.55 +/- 0.08 second, and 57% were receiving antiadrenergic treatment for LQTS when the pacemaker was placed. Using birth as the time origin, the median cardiac event rate was significantly (p less than 0.001) reduced by pacing from 0.5 to 0 events per patient per year, with 21 patients experiencing no cardiac events during an average pacemaker follow-up of 49 months per patient. In 10 patients in whom the demand atrial pacing rate was faster than the intrinsic sinus rate, the average heart rate was increased 23 beats/min (from 58 to 81 beats/min) with pacing with reduction in the QT interval from 0.59 seconds to 0.46 seconds.
CONCLUSIONS The beneficial effects of pacing in high-risk LQTS patients probably relate to the prevention of bradycardia, pauses, and the shortening of long QT intervals--factors that are known to be arrhythmogenic in this syndrome. Permanent cardiac pacing reduces the rate of recurrent syncopal events in high-risk LQTS patients, but it does not provide complete protection.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association