Short QT syndrome

What is Short QT Syndrome?

Short QT Syndrome (SQTS) is a rare genetic heart disorder characterized by an abnormally short corrected QT interval on the electrocardiogram (ECG). It is typically caused by mutations in genes that affect the heart's ion channel system, which helps regulate the heart's rhythm, leading to an increased risk of sudden death from arrhythmias. The disorder affects both men and women and can occur at any age, but the highest incidence appears to be in childhood and adolescence.

Symptoms and Signs

Most people with SQTS show no symptoms of the disorder. However, some may experience palpitations and fainting, and those with more severe cases may experience sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). In some cases, SQTS may be associated with ventricular tachycardia (an abnormal heart rhythm), ventricular fibrillation (a faster heart rate), or torsade de pointes (a type of prolonged abnormal heart rhythm).

Diagnosis of Short QT Syndrome

The diagnosis of SQTS is usually made using an electrocardiogram (ECG). The ECG measures the electrical activity of the heart and shows the duration of the corrected QT interval, which is usually shorter than normal in those with SQTS. Genetic testing may also be used to look for mutations in the genes associated with the disorder.

Treatment of Short QT Syndrome

Treatment of SQTS usually focuses on medications to help reset the balance of the heart's underlying electrical system. These medications may include beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, or antiarrhythmic drugs. In some cases, surgery (such as an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) may be necessary to help regulate the heart rhythm. It is important that patients with SQTS receive regular follow-up care from their doctor to monitor their condition.

Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies

The risk of SQTS is increased in those with a family history of the disorder. Individuals with SQTS should be monitored closely by a doctor and make lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of heart arrhythmias. These include avoiding alcohol, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet.

Coping and Support

Living with SQTS can be difficult and can be a source of stress for patients and their families. Emotional support from family and friends can be very helpful in coping with the condition. There are also patient support groups, online forums, and other resources available to help patients with SQTS manage the condition.


Short QT Syndrome (SQTS) is a rare genetic heart disorder characterized by an abnormally short corrected QT interval on the electrocardiogram (ECG). The disorder can affect both men and women and is usually asymptomatic. Treatment usually involves medications to help reset the heart's electrical system, and lifestyle modifications to reduce the risk of arrhythmias.