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What is Long QT Syndrome?

POSTED AT 11:31 PM ON Jun. 8, 2011  (UPDATED AT 02:10 PM ON Jun. 10, 2011)

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Lauren Spierer suffers from Long QT syndrome, her mother said.

It is an inherited condition, Bloomington cardiologist Dr. Louis J. Calli said. Its symptoms can be arrhythmic heart beats, passing out and in very rare cases, sudden cardiac death.

There are multiple types of Long QT. In some types, exercise can cause the person to pass out. For other types, a person can pass out during sleep, when upset or even when surprised.

Some symptoms can be treated with medication.

If Spierer had an episode of irregular heartbeats, she might need medical attention, Calli said.

Alcohol is not known to aggravate the condition, Calli said, but other drugs might.

At a Bloomington Police Department press conference Wednesday morning, Lt. Bill Parker said accidental medication abuse or alcohol could have been part of Lauren’s night, but said he was uncomfortable speculating.

— CJ Lotz

 

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