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Research Findings Key for Understanding, Interpreting Genetic Testing for Long QT Syndrome
Date:11/5/2009

Study has Important Implications for Genetic Testing and Individualized Medicine

ROCHESTER, Minn., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Results of a long QT syndrome (LQTS) study published in the current issue of Circulation play an important role in understanding genetic testing's role in diagnosing disease, according to the senior author, Michael Ackerman, M.D., Ph.D. A pediatric cardiologist at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Ackerman directs Mayo's Long QT Syndrome Clinic and is the director of the Mayo Clinic Windland Smith Rice Sudden Death Genomics Laboratory.

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LQTS is a disorder of the electrical system of the heart that affects 1 in 2,500 people. In LQTS, approximately 5 percent to 10 percent of the time, its first symptom is sudden death, often related to physical exertion or auditory triggers such as an alarm clock. However, many cases can be diagnosed following warning signs such as sudden fainting spells or a family history that suggest its potential presence and from objective data derived from an ECG, exercise or epinephrine QT stress testing, and genetic testing. The condition was first clinically described in 1957, but the first LQTS genes were not discovered until 1995. In 2004, the first genetic test for LQTS became clinically available in North America.

This multicenter study also involved Arthur Wilde, M.D., Ph.D., Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and scientists from PGxHealth. Dr. Ackerman says genetic testing results of nearly 400 patients with a strong clinical diagnosis of LQTS and nearly 1,400 healthy volunteers showed that there is a "backgro
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SOURCE Mayo Clinic
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