Long qt syndrome: Compare Costs for a treatment abroad
Long QT syndrome is either acquired or congenital heart condition, when the heartbeat becomes irregular and the QT interval becomes prolonged. The prolongation of the interval causes the appearance of electrical instability of the heart muscle, which can result in such complications as ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. The disease is not very rare because our of 4000 people 2 can have it. Disease is very dangerous, because it may result in sudden death.
There are the following types of the disease:
- congenital long QT syndrome;
- acquired long QT syndrome.
Long QT syndrome causes
- genetic predisposition, which includes inherited diseases
- gene mutations
- abnormalities in protein synthesis
- abnormalities of myocardial fibers
- effects of drugs such as quinidine and propafenone
- metabolic disorders
- low-fat diet
- coronary heart disease
- pathology of the central nervous system
- disturbances in the autonomic nervous system
Women also have long syndrome more often than men population. If a person had some kind of liver or renal impairment, he can also develop a long syndrome later. Sometimes a long syndrome is provoked by the overdose of certain drugs, such as barbiturate, which is very dangerous.
Long QT syndrome symptoms
- severe weakness
- chest pain
Blackout usually happens during the day, when a person is walking or when he is agitated. If a person is an athlete he can experience the blackout during the training or the game, when he is exercising and feeling stress at the same time. If long syndrome is not severe, there are no manifestations of the disease. A person may only fatigue a little bit faster but usually he contributes it to some other causes. Usually the disruption of electrical impulses is diagnosed during the simple physical examination, when a doctor detects the prolonged QT.
Diagnosis of disease
Often long QT syndrome does not manifest itself for a long time. In this case a person may experience a sudden death even if his health condition is ostensibly perfect. That is why it is so important to monitor regularly patients who are in the risk group. Doctors may use the following diagnosis methods:
Eectrocardiography. During the attack it can detect signs of ventricular tachycardia
Holter monitoring records cardiac activity of the patient during the day. During 4 hours a small device attached to the body of the patient. After that a specialist analyzes the findings.
For the diagnosis of long qt syndrome doctors may also use the test of thyroid function to see if the prolongation of impulses was caused by some dysfunction of the gland. Long syndrome can also be diagnosed during simple physical examination, when a doctor uses stethoscope to listen to the patient`s heart and to determine of the interval of the electrical impulses is prolonged or normal. For instance, a doctor may also make a patient exercise to see if the pulse quickens normally when a patient jumps or runs for a certain period of time. If electrical impulses are prolonged a patient may have arrhythmia and then his pulse will be too rapid and he can even faint. Especially, this might happen if he was in some emotional distress or if he was exposed to the sun for a long period of time. Actually, such fainting episodes are often the cause why patients go to the cardiologist in the first place. It may be sometimes difficult to diagnose the long syndrome, because the impulses of the heart may be prolonged for some other reason. In that case a doctor monitors a patient for a certain period of time to prescribe the right treatment course.
Long QT syndrome treatment
Long syndrome treatment usually aims to normalize the heartbeat and stop the prolongation of the electric impulses. It can be achieved through the course of the antiarrhythmic drugs. Such drugs may permanently stabilize the cardiovascular system. Nevertheless, these drugs should be prescribed very carefully because many of them have side effects and can cause the mood swings If the cause of the long syndrome was an overuse of certain antidepressants, then a patient needs to stop taking those drugs immediately.
Surgical treatment usually involves the implantation of the pacemaker if the arrhythmia is life-threatening. The device is usually implanted in the region of the left heart muscle. Its electrodes are held to the chambers of the heart by venous puncture.
After implantation the device is controlled by the programmer. The pacemaker can detect the slightest deviation from the normal heart rhythm and maintain normal heart function. If for some reason a patient can not wear a pacemaker, he can also be treated with the implantation of special defibrillator, which can terminate arrhythmia. In some cases when the arrhythmia is not severe, it can be terminated by several courses of special antibiotics.
If a patient`s heart stopped to beat because the prolongation of the electrical impulses was too long, a patient may be saved if he was taken to the hospital on time. When he is in the hospital, doctors try to restore his heart rhythm by providing electrical shock to the valves of the heart. If that does not help, they may inject the adrenaline into the blood of the patient. During the long syndrome seizure every second counts, that`s why it is important to provide timely help from the ambulance. In rare cases the massage of the heart may help. The prolongation may occur very suddenly, though, and then it is almost impossible to save a patient. Sudden cardiac death may happen if a patient experienced a very stressful situation. Sometimes there can be palpitations before cardiac death. When a patient has such seizure, his heartbeat may return back, although the heart can stop working for several minutes. When it does not happen in the matter of three or four seconds, only ambulance can save the patient. It is very difficult but there were cases when patients survived such seizure.
Long syndrome prevention
As it is with many diseases of the heart, people who have long QT syndrome are not advised to engage in strenuous physical activity which may provoke the rapid heartbeat. People with long syndrome are also not advised to lift weights and to smoke. They need to be on a diet, where the consumption of the salt is strictly restricted. Also red meat and fatty food need to be avoided. People who are in the risk group can prevent the emergence of this disease by going often for the monitoring and living healthy lifestyle.
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