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Standing up for athletes at risk
Date:4/21/2011

it stands up would reveal an abnormally prolonged QT interval patients with long QT syndrome (LQTS), the most common cause of sudden death. Those affected with LQTS have a normal heart structure but have problems in the electrical discharge in the heart they have trouble "recharging" after these sudden changes.

Young people who suddenly faint for no reason, have dizzy spells or have a family history of LQTS are very good potential candidates for this new test, Dr. Viskin says.

A warning for immediate intervention

In the study that led to the "Viskin Test," Dr. Viskin assessed 68 patients with LQTS and 82 control subjects who all underwent a baseline ECG while resting in the supine position. They were then asked to get up quickly and stand still during continuous ECG recording. The QT interval was then studied over various time periods.

In response to brisk standing, both the LQTS patients and the control subjects showed similar heart rate acceleration. But Dr. Viskin discovered that the QT interval in LQTS patients increased significantly.

"This test adds diagnostic value. And the beauty of the test," Dr. Viskin adds, "is that it's easily done at the patient's bedside. It eliminates the need for more expensive IV tests and more strenuous exercise tests."

He adds that, while untreated LQTS can be life-threatening, the therapies to treat it can be very effective.


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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

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