Cardiology

Cause of ventricular tachycardia determines treatment

Dear Mayo Clinic: Recently, I was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia, but doctors said a cause cannot be determined. What usually causes this problem? Does knowing the cause make a difference in treatment?

Genetics

If not for 2-year-old, young mom might have died

The night she turned 37, Barbara Jackson put her 2-year-old daughter Olivia Copeland to bed and walked to the kitchen. She felt a little odd but didn't think much of it.

Cardiology

24-year-old's fainting was a clue to her fatal heart condition

Christie Tolosky went to her family doctor's office to get a prescription for a toothache. She collapsed and was dead within an hour, leaving doctors looking for clues about what happened to the otherwise healthy 24-year-old.

Cardiology

Startling these twins could put their hearts at risk

Katie and Lance Cox were watching TV one evening, their infant twins Carter and John asleep nearby, when Katie dropped the remote control. As it clattered across the floor, the couple froze, staring terrified at one another.

Genetics

Long QT syndrome—revealed

Long QT syndrome is a rare disorder that can lead to dangerous heart rhythms, fainting and sudden cardiac arrest.

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The long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a rare inborn heart condition in which delayed repolarization of the heart following a heartbeat increases the risk of episodes of torsade de pointes (TDP, a form of irregular heartbeat that originates from the ventricles). These episodes may lead to palpitations, fainting and sudden death due to ventricular fibrillation. Episodes may be provoked by various stimuli, depending on the subtype of the condition.

The condition is so named because of the appearances of the electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG), on which there is prolongation of the QT interval. In some individuals the QT prolongation occurs only after the administration of certain medications.

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