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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1995 Jan;25(1):59-64.

A new form of long QT syndrome associated with syndactyly.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84132.



The purpose of this study was to characterize a possible association between long QT syndrome and syndactyly.


Long QT syndrome causes syncope and sudden death from ventricular arrhythmias. Syndactyly is a developmental disorder that causes webbing of the hands and feet. Both disorders can be inherited as isolated, autosomal dominant traits, but an association between them has not been established.


We identified three children with long QT syndrome, atrioventricular (AV) block and simple syndactyly. Phenotypic and laboratory data were obtained from families, attending physicians and medical records.


All patients had bilateral cutaneous syndactyly and were diagnosed with long QT syndrome within the 1st 2 years of life. Structural heart disease, particularly a patent ductus arteriosus, was present in all three patients. Analysis of electrocardiograms showed marked prolongation of the QT intervals with rate-corrected QT intervals of 633, 628 and 680 ms, respectively. Transient AV block was also noted. Two of the three children died suddenly despite treatment with beta-adrenergic blocking agents and permanent pacing.


We postulate that these children have a new form of long QT syndrome associated with syndactyly and a high risk of sudden death. The association of syndactyly with long QT syndrome may provide insight into the mechanisms underlying both disorders. Patients with syndactyly should be evaluated for the presence of long QT syndrome, and if it is found, aggressive treatment may be warranted.

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