The LQT2 type is the second most common gene location that is affected in long QT syndrome, making up about 25 to 30 percent of all cases. This form of long QT syndrome most likely involves mutations of the human ether-a-go-go related gene (HERG) on chromosome 7. The HERG gene (also known as KCNH2) is part of the rapid component of the potassium rectifying current (IKr). (The IKr current is mainly responsible for the termination of the cardiac action potential, and therefore the length of the QT interval.) The normally functioning HERG gene allows protection against early after depolarizations (EADs). Most drugs that cause long QT syndrome do so by blocking the IKr current via the HERG gene. These include erythromycin, terfenadine, and ketoconazole. The HERG channel is very sensitive to unintended drug binding due to two aromatic amino acids, the tyrosine at position 652 and the phenylalanine at position 656. These amino acid residues are poised so a drug binding to them will block the channel from conducting current. Other potassium channels do not have these residues in these positions and are therefore not as prone to blockage.
The LQT2 gene (HERG, or KCNH2) encodes for part of IKr rapidly activating, rapidly deactivating, delayed rectifier potassium channel. Mutations in this gene cause rapid closure of the potassium channels and decrease the normal rise in I Kr . They also result in delayed ventricular repolarization and QT prolongation. About 200 mutations in this gene have been detected.
Arrhythmia suppression involves the use of medications or surgical procedures that attack the underlying cause of the arrhythmias associated with LQTS. Since the cause of arrhythmias in LQTS is after depolarizations, and these after depolarizations are increased in states of adrenergic stimulation, steps can be taken to blunt adrenergic stimulation in these individuals. These include: Administration of beta receptor blocking agents which decreases the risk of stress induced arrhythmias. Beta blockers are the first choice in treating Long QT syndrome. In 2004 it has been shown that genotype and QT interval duration are independent predictors of recurrence of life-threatening events during beta-blockers therapy. Specifically the presence of QTc >500ms and LQT2 and LQT3 genotype are associated with the highest incidence of recurrence. In these patients primary prevention with ICD (Implantable Cardioverster Defibrilator) implantation can be considered. Potassium supplementation. If the potassium content in the blood rises, the action potential shortens and due to this reason it is believed that increasing potassium concentration could minimize the occurrence of arrhythmias. It should work best in LQT2 since the HERG channel is especially sensible to potassium concentration, but the use is experimental and not evidence based.
* Congenital deafness - 0.5 points * Family history (the same family member cannot be counted for LQTS and sudden death) Other family members with definite LQTS - 1 point Sudden death in immediate family (members before the age 30) - 0.5 points