What is long QT syndrome?

Ask the doctor


Image: © Shidlovski/Getty Images

Q. I was recently diagnosed with long QT syndrome, which was apparently caused by a medication I was taking. But I understand that there are also genetic causes for this problem. Can you tell me more about this disorder?

A. Long QT syndrome is a rare disorder of the heart's electrical system. Electrical signals coordinate your heartbeat, telling the heart to contract and relax to pump blood. After each beat, the heart's muscle cells are busy recharging themselves for the next contraction by moving sodium, potassium, and calcium through tiny pores on their surfaces.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »