BACKGROUND: Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a common inheritable arrhythmogenic disorder, often secondary to mutations in the KCNQ1, KCNH2, and SCN5A genes. The disease is characterized by a prolonged ventricular repolarization (QTc interval) that confers susceptibility to life-threatening arrhythmic events (LAEs). OBJECTIVES: This study sought to create an evidence-based risk stratification scheme to personalize the quantification of the arrhythmic risk in patients with LQTS. METHODS: Data from 1,710 patients with LQTS followed up for a median of 7.1 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 2.7 to 13.4 years) were analyzed to estimate the 5-year risk of LAEs based on QTc duration and genotype and to assess the antiarrhythmic efficacy of beta-blockers. RESULTS: The relationship between QTc duration and risk of events was investigated by comparison of linear and cubic spline models, and the linear model provided the best fit. The 5-year risk of LAEs while patients were off therapy was then calculated in a multivariable Cox model with QTc and genotype considered as independent factors. The estimated risk of LAEs increased by 15% for every 10-ms increment of QTc duration for all genotypes. Intergenotype comparison showed that the risk for patients with LQT2 and LQT3 increased by 130% and 157% at any QTc duration versus patients with LQT1. Analysis of response to beta-blockers showed that only nadolol reduced the arrhythmic risk in all genotypes significantly compared with no therapy (hazard ratio: 0.38; 95% confidence interval: 0.15 to 0.93; p = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: The study provides an estimator of risk of LAEs in LQTS that allows a granular estimate of 5-year arrhythmic risk and demonstrate the superiority of nadolol in reducing the risk of LAEs in LQTS
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