C-terminal HERG mutations: the role of hypokalemia and a KCNQ1-associated mutation in cardiac event occurrence. (1/333)

BACKGROUND: The long-QT syndrome (LQTS) is a genetically heterogeneous disease in which 4 genes encoding ion-channel subunits have been identified. Most of the mutations have been determined in the transmembrane domains of the cardiac potassium channel genes KCNQ1 and HERG. In this study, we investigated the 3' part of HERG for mutations. METHODS AND RESULTS: New specific primers allowed the amplification of the 3' part of HERG, the identification of 2 missense mutations, S818L and V822 M, in the putative cyclic nucleotide binding domain, and a 1-bp insertion, 3108+1G. Hypokalemia was a triggering factor for torsade de pointes in 2 of the probands of these families. Lastly, in a large family, a maternally inherited G to A transition was found in the splicing donor consensus site of HERG, 2592+1G-A, and a paternally inherited mutation, A341E, was identified in KCNQ1. The 2 more severely affected sisters bore both mutations. CONCLUSIONS: The discovery of mutations in the C-terminal part of HERG emphasizes that this region plays a significant role in cardiac repolarization. Clinical data suggests that these mutations may be less malignant than mutations occurring in the pore region, but they can become clinically significant in cases of hypokalemia. The first description of 2 patients with double heterozygosity associated with a dramatic malignant phenotype implies that genetic analysis of severely affected young patients should include an investigation for >1 mutation in the LQT genes.  (+info)

Cellular and ionic basis for T-wave alternans under long-QT conditions. (2/333)

BACKGROUND: T-wave alternans (TWA), an ECG phenomenon characterized by beat-to-beat alternation of the morphology, amplitude, and/or polarity of the T wave, is commonly observed in the acquired and congenital long-QT syndromes (LQTS). This study examines the cellular and ionic basis for TWA induced by rapid pacing under conditions mimicking the LQT3 form of the congenital LQTS in an arterially perfused canine left ventricular wedge preparation. METHODS AND RESULTS: Transmembrane action potentials from epicardial, M, and endocardial cells and 6 to 8 intramural unipolar electrograms were simultaneously recorded together with a transmural ECG and isometric tension development. In the presence of sea anemone toxin (ATX-II; 20 nmol/L), an increase in pacing rate (from a cycle length [CL] of 500 to 400 to 250 ms) produced a wide spectrum of T-wave and mechanical alternans. Acceleration to CLs of 400 to 300 ms produced mild to moderate TWA principally due to beat-to-beat alternation of repolarization of cells in the M region. Transmural dispersion of repolarization during alternans was exaggerated during alternate beats. Acceleration to CLs of 300 to 250 ms caused more pronounced beat-to-beat alternation of action potential duration (APD) of the M cell, resulting in a reversal of repolarization sequence across the ventricular wall, leading to alternation in the polarity of the T wave. The peak of the negative T waves coincided with repolarization of the M region, whereas the end of the negative T wave coincided with the repolarization of epicardium. In almost all cases, electrical alternans was concordant with mechanical alternans. Torsade de pointes occurred after an abrupt acceleration of CL, which was associated with marked TWA. Both ryanodine and low [Ca2+]o completely suppressed alternans of the T wave, APD, and contraction, suggesting a critical role for intracellular Ca2+ cycling in the maintenance of TWA. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that TWA observed at rapid rates under long-QT conditions is largely the result of alternation of the M-cell APD, leading to exaggeration of transmural dispersion of repolarization during alternate beats, and thus the potential for development of torsade de pointes. Our data also suggest that unlike transient forms of TWA that damp out quickly and depend on electrical restitution factors, the steady-state electrical and mechanical alternans demonstrated in this study appears to be largely the result of beat-to-beat alternans of [Ca2+]i.  (+info)

Torsades de pointes in a case of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with special reference to the pathologic findings of the heart including the conduction system. (3/333)

A clinicopathologic study was performed in a 77-year-old female with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy who had experienced recurrent syncopal attacks due to Torsades de Pointes (TdP) following QT prolongation and atrioventricular block. She died suddenly two years later while eating dinner. Pathologic findings of the heart showed a dilated and hypertrophied left ventricle. The heart weighed 550 g. There were two foci of localized endocardial fibroelastosis (EFE) beneath the aortic valve, one with a size of 3.5 x 3.5 cm, and the other (2 x 1 cm) located on the upper ventricular septum. Histologic findings showed hypertrophy and disarray in the left ventricular myocardium. The conduction system using serial sectioning revealed remarkable bilateral bundle branch fibrosis and hypertrophied Purkinje fibers in the left bundle branch adjacent to the EFE on the ventricular septum. These findings were thought to be related to the occurrence of TdP.  (+info)

Factors affecting epicardial dispersion of repolarization: a mapping study in the isolated porcine heart. (4/333)

OBJECTIVE: Non-uniform drug-induced prolongation of repolarization predominating in the midmyocardial (M) cell layers has been shown to be responsible for perpetuation of reentry, giving rise to torsade de pointes. However, the absence of M cells in immature animals, especially the pig, suggests other possible underlying mechanisms. We sought to examine, in this species, the effects of predisposing factors to torsade de pointes on the dispersion of epicardial repolarization and their contribution to arrhythmogenesis. METHODS: Computerized mapping of repolarization and activation was conducted on the epicardial surface in 29 Langendorff-perfused hearts of eight-week-old pigs. Activation-recovery intervals were measured simultaneously from 128 unipolar electrograms. RESULTS: Baseline iso-interval maps were dipolar (41%) or multipolar (59%). Dispersion of repolarization was reverse frequency-dependent but was unaffected by lowering [K+]o. DL-Sotalol (0.1 mmol/l) reinforced local gradients and thus increased epicardial dispersion, whereas intramural recordings did not demonstrate any predominant effect in midmyocardial layers. Phenylephrine (1 mumol/l) notably augmented DL-sotalol effects. After [Mg++]o lowering, although dispersion was not significantly increased, DL-sotalol was associated with the spontaneous occurrence of polymorphic ventricular tachycardia in seven out of nine experiments. When maps of repolarization of escape beats were compared with activation maps of first arrhythmic beats, an arc of functional dissociation was observed in the vicinity of a steep gradient of repolarization in two out of nine tachycardias. CONCLUSION: Epicardial dispersion of repolarization is increased by slow rates, DL-sotalol and phenylephrine but is not the only requirement for initiation of polymorphic ventricular tachycardia. In combination with other factors, it helps continuation of the arrhythmia in this model.  (+info)

Dofetilide in patients with congestive heart failure and left ventricular dysfunction. Danish Investigations of Arrhythmia and Mortality on Dofetilide Study Group. (5/333)

BACKGROUND: Atrial fibrillation occurs frequently in patients with congestive heart failure and commonly results in clinical deterioration and hospitalization. Sinus rhythm may be maintained with antiarrhythmic drugs, but some of these drugs increase the risk of death. METHODS: We studied 1518 patients with symptomatic congestive heart failure and severe left ventricular dysfunction at 34 Danish hospitals. We randomly assigned 762 patients to receive dofetilide, a novel class III antiarrhythmic agent, and 756 to receive placebo in a double-blind study. Treatment was initiated in the hospital and included three days of cardiac monitoring and dose adjustment. The primary end point was death from any cause. RESULTS: During a median follow-up of 18 months, 311 patients in the dofetilide group (41 percent) and 317 patients in the placebo group (42 percent) died (hazard ratio, 0.95; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.81 to 1.11). Treatment with dofetilide significantly reduced the risk of hospitalization for worsening congestive heart failure (risk ratio, 0.75; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.63 to 0.89). Dofetilide was effective in converting atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm. After one month, 22 of 190 patients with atrial fibrillation at base line (12 percent) had sinus rhythm restored with dofetilide, as compared with only 3 of 201 patients (1 percent) given placebo. Once sinus rhythm was restored, dofetilide was significantly more effective than placebo in maintaining sinus rhythm (hazard ratio for the recurrence of atrial fibrillation, 0.35; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.22 to 0.57; P<0.001). There were 25 cases of torsade de pointes in the dofetilide group (3.3 percent) as compared with none in the placebo group. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with congestive heart failure and reduced left ventricular function, dofetilide was effective in converting atrial fibrillation, preventing its recurrence, and reducing the risk of hospitalization for worsening heart failure. Dofetilide had no effect on mortality.  (+info)

Systemic administration of calmodulin antagonist W-7 or protein kinase A inhibitor H-8 prevents torsade de pointes in rabbits. (6/333)

BACKGROUND: The ventricular arrhythmia torsade de pointes (TdP) occurs after QT interval prolongation and is associated with sudden cardiac death. The afterdepolarizations that initiate TdP are facilitated by protein kinase A and the multifunctional Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaM kinase). METHODS AND RESULTS: In this study, we evaluated the feasibility of suppression of TdP through systemic therapy with kinase inhibitory agents in an established animal model. Under control conditions, TdP was inducible in 6 of 8 rabbits. CaM kinase blockade with the calmodulin antagonist W-7 reduced TdP in a dose-dependent fashion (4 of 7 inducible at 25 micromol/kg and 1 of 7 inducible at 50 micromol/kg). Increased intracellular Ca(2+) has been implicated in the genesis of afterdepolarizations, but pretreatment with high-dose W-7 did not prevent TdP in response to the L-type Ca(2+) channel agonist BAY K 8644 (300 nmol/kg), suggesting that CaM kinase-independent activation of L-type Ca(2+) current was not affected by W-7. Compared with control animals, W-7 reduced TdP inducibility without shortening the QT interval, increasing heart rate, or reducing the blood pressure. The protein kinase A antagonist H-8 also caused a dose-dependent reduction in TdP inducibility (5 of 6 at 1 micromol/kg, 4 of 6 at 5 micromol/kg, and 0 of 6 at 10 micromol/kg), but unlike W-7, H-8 did so by shortening the QT interval. CONCLUSIONS: These findings show that the acute systemic application of W-7 and H-8 is hemodynamically tolerated and indicate that kinase inhibition may be a viable antiarrhythmic strategy.  (+info)

Downregulation of delayed rectifier K(+) currents in dogs with chronic complete atrioventricular block and acquired torsades de pointes. (7/333)

BACKGROUND: Acquired QT prolongation enhances the susceptibility to torsades de pointes (TdP). Clinical and experimental studies indicate ventricular action potential prolongation, increased regional dispersion of repolarization, and early afterdepolarizations as underlying factors. We examined whether K(+)-current alterations contribute to these proarrhythmic responses in an animal model of TdP: the dog with chronic complete atrioventricular block (AVB) and biventricular hypertrophy. METHODS AND RESULTS: The whole-cell K(+) currents I(TO1), I(K1), I(Kr), and I(Ks) were recorded in left (LV) and right (RV) ventricular midmyocardial cells from dogs with 9+/-1 weeks of AVB and controls with sinus rhythm. I(TO1) density and kinetics and I(K1) outward current were not different between chronic AVB and control cells. I(Kr) had a similar voltage dependence of activation and time course of deactivation in chronic AVB and control. I(Kr) density was similar in LV myocytes but smaller in RV myocytes (-45%) of chronic AVB versus control. For I(Ks), voltage-dependence of activation and time course of deactivation were similar in chronic AVB and control. However, I(Ks) densities of LV (-50%) and RV (-55%) cells were significantly lower in chronic AVB than control. CONCLUSIONS: Significant downregulation of delayed rectifier K(+) current occurs in both ventricles of the dog with chronic AVB. Acquired TdP in this animal model with biventricular hypertrophy is thus related to intrinsic repolarization defects.  (+info)

QT dispersion. Is it an independent risk factor for in-hospital mortality in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage? (8/333)

Electrocardiographic repolarization changes, comprising QT prolongation, are most commonly seen after intracerebral hemorrhage. In this study in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), QT dispersion and its daily changes were examined and the relation between QT dispersion and in-hospital mortality assessed. In 28 patients with intracerebral hemorrhage, diagnosed by computerized tomographic scanning, an ECG was obtained on the day of admission to hospital and then serial ECGs were recorded on the following four consecutive days. Blood electrolytes (K, Ca, Mg) were also analysed. The patients with intracerebral hemorrhage were followed until discharge or death (mean 14 +/- 4 days). QT, QT peak, and QT-QT peak dispersion were measured on simultaneous twelve lead electrocardiograms. Also, in 29 healthy subjects as a control group, five consecutive day serial electrocardiograms were recorded. There were no statistically significant differences between the study and control groups in terms of gender and age. During the five days, QT, QT peak, and QT-QTpeak dispersion values were significantly higher in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage than in the control subjects (p < 0.001). There were no statistically significant differences in two patient groups with intracerebral hemorrhage who died and who were discharged in terms of mean QT, QTpeak, and QT-QTpeak dispersion values. In conclusion, QT, QT peak, and QT-QTpeak dispersion values were significantly greater in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage than in the control subjects, but QT, QT peak, and QT-QT peak dispersions were not independent risk factors for in-hospital mortality in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage.  (+info)