Torsades de pointes complicating atrioventricular block: evidence for a genetic predisposition

Heart Rhythm : the Official Journal of the Heart Rhythm Society
Philippe ChevalierClaire Rodriguez-Lafrasse


The prevalence of genetic risk factors has not been systematically evaluated in the setting of complete atriventricular (AV) block complicated by long QT syndrome (LQTS). This study was performed to determine to what extent acquired LQTS in the context of AV block has a genetic substrate. Among 420 recipients of pacemakers implanted over a 3-year period, we identified retrospectively 29 patients with complete AV block and a QT interval >600 ms in duration. A second study group included 22 randomly selected patients who had AV block and a QT interval <600 ms. Normal controls were 100 consecutive individuals without medical history. Genetic studies screening for HERG, KCNQ1 KCNE1, KCNE2, and SCN5A mutations were performed. We identified four mutations on genes encoding potassium channels in five patients with AV block and acquired LQTS. These mutations were not found among patients with AV block and a QT interval <600 ms in duration or in healthy volunteers. Functional expression of three HERG mutations (R328C, R696C, and R1047L) had a dominant negative effect on wild-type I(Kr). One KCNE2 mutation (R77W) identified in a patient treated with flecainide did not alter I(Kr). This study showed that complete AV block complicated by L...Continue Reading


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