Significance of the Mayo Clinic Research
The risk of underdiagnosing LQTS has been well established in recent years. Early this year, this same investigative team published findings from a series of coroner/medical examiner cases showing that approximately half of the LQTS cases discovered postmortem had exhibited legitimate sudden death warning signs" including sudden faints and a positive family history of sudden unexplained deaths. But the current Mayo Clinic study is the first report of the potential for overdiagnosis of LQTS. As such, it emphasizes the need to clarify methods for interpreting data obtained from heart tests used to evaluate LQTS patients, particularly data of borderline cases, Dr. Ackerman says.
This is a diagnosis in which the stakes are extremely high, he says. On one hand, failing to recognize this disease could end in a tragic, premature death that could have been prevented easily with current treatments. On the other hand, the proverbial dark side of increased awareness of LQTS and its potential lethality may prompt physicians to think, If Im in doubt, Im going to diagnose LQTS because its the medically/legally safe thing to do. However, what may not be appreciated is that a diagnosis of LQTS has a huge ripple effect on these individuals and their families. It is vital that we get this diagnosis right in both directions.
About Long QT Syndrome (LQTS)
Long QT syndrome is a genetic disorder of the hearts electrical system that occurs in about 1 in 3,000 people. Approximately 5 percent to 10 percent o
Contact: Traci Klein