Merck Manual

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Cardiac Channelopathies

By

L. Brent Mitchell

, MD, Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, University of Calgary

Medically Reviewed Jan 2023
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Topic Resources

Cardiac channelopathies are abnormalities in heart cell proteins that control heart electrical activity and thus can cause heart rhythm disturbances.

The most common channelopathies cause

Other, more rare cardiac channelopathies include the following:

  • Short QT syndrome

  • Early repolarization syndrome

  • Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT)

  • Brugada syndrome

  • Isolated progressive cardiac conduction disease

The Conduction System
VIDEO

Symptoms of Cardiac Channelopathies

Symptoms may be triggered by fever, exercise, or some drugs, including some drugs used to treat abnormal heart rhythms and some antidepressants.

Diagnosis of Cardiac Channelopathies

  • Electrocardiography

Doctors consider a channelopathy when people or their family members have a history of fainting or cardiac arrest without an obvious cause (such as a known heart problem), especially if the cardiac arrest occurred at a young age.

Because channelopathies are usually a genetic disorder, family members of people with a channelopathy are at risk. Close family members should be evaluated by a doctor, including with ECG and ambulatory heart monitoring.

Treatment of Cardiac Channelopathies

More Information

The following English-language resource may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of this resource.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
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