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Long-term follow-up of a pediatric cohort with short QT syndrome.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to define the clinical characteristics and long-term follow-up of pediatric patients with short QT syndrome (SQTS).

BACKGROUND: SQTS is associated with sudden cardiac death. The clinical characteristics and long-term prognosis in young patients have not been reported.

METHODS: This was an international case series involving 15 centers. Patients were analyzed for electrocardiography characteristics, genotype, clinical events, Gollob score, and efficacy of medical or defibrillator (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator [ICD]) therapy. To assess the possible prognostic value of the Gollob score, we devised a modified Gollob score that excluded clinical events from the original score.

RESULTS: Twenty-five patients 21 years of age or younger (84% males, median age: 15 years, interquartile range: 9 to 18 years) were followed up for 5.9 years (interquartile range: 4 to 7.1 years). Median corrected QT interval for heart rate was 312 ms (range: 194 to 355 ms). Symptoms occurred in 14 (56%) of 25 patients and included aborted sudden cardiac death in 6 patients (24%) and syncope in 4 patients (16%). Arrhythmias were common and included atrial fibrillation (n = 4), ventricular fibrillation (n = 6), supraventricular tachycardia (n = 1), and polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (n = 1). Sixteen patients (84%) had a familial or personal history of cardiac arrest. A gene mutation associated with SQTS was identified in 5 (24%) of 21 probands. Symptomatic patients had a higher median modified Gollob score (excluding points for clinical events) compared with asymptomatic patients (5 vs. 4, p = 0.044). Ten patients received medical treatment, mainly with quinidine. Eleven of 25 index cases underwent ICD implantation. Two patients had appropriate ICD shocks. Inappropriate ICD shocks were observed in 64% of patients.

CONCLUSIONS: SQTS is associated with aborted sudden cardiac death among the pediatric population. Asymptomatic patients with a Gollob score of <5 remained event free, except for an isolated episode of supraventricular tachycardia, over an average 6-year follow-up. A higher modified Gollob score of 5 or more was associated with the likelihood of clinical events. Young SQTS patients have a high rate of inappropriate ICD shocks.

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