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Hong Kong Med J. 2018 Dec;24(6):561-570. doi: 10.12809/hkmj187487. Epub 2018 Dec 3.

Clinical and genetic profile of congenital long QT syndrome in Hong Kong: a 20-year experience in paediatrics.

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Department of Paediatric Cardiology, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.
Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.



Congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a genetically transmitted cardiac channelopathy that can lead to sudden cardiac death. This study aimed to report the clinical and genetic characteristics of all young patients diagnosed with LQTS in the only tertiary paediatric cardiology centre in Hong Kong.


This is a retrospective review of all paediatric and young adult patients diagnosed at our centre with LQTS from January 1997 to December 2016. The diagnosis of LQTS was established with a corrected QT interval (QTc) ≥480 ms, Schwartz score of >3 points, or the presence of a pathogenic mutation.


Fifty-nine patients (33 males) from 52 families were included, with a mean age of 8.17 years (range, 0.00-16.95 years) at presentation. Five patients had concomitant congenital heart diseases. The mean follow-up duration was 5.33 ± 4.65 years. The mean QTc in the cohort was 504 ± 47 ms. They presented with syncope and convulsion (49%), cardiac arrest (10%), bradycardia and neonatal atrioventricular block (12%). Fifteen (25%) patients were asymptomatic at diagnosis. Thirty-eight (64.4%) patients were confirmed to have a pathogenic mutation for LQTS genes. Forty-five (76.3%) patients received beta blocker therapy. Thirteen (22.0%) patients required implantable cardioverter defibrillator. There was no mortality in the study period. The 1-, 5-, and 10-year breakthrough cardiac event-free rates were 93.0%, 80.7%, and 72.6%, respectively.


Identification of the disorder, administration of beta blockers, and lifestyle modification can prevent subsequent cardiac events in LQTS. Genotyping in patients with LQTS is essential in guiding medical therapy and improving prognosis.


Death, sudden, cardiac; Genes; Long QT syndrome; Paediatrics; Syncope

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