Spectrum and frequency of cardiac channel defects in swimming-triggered arrhythmia syndromes

Grace Choi, Laura J. Kopplin, David J. Tester, Melissa L. Will, Carla M. Haglund, Michael J. Ackerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

194 Scopus citations


Background - Swimming is a relatively genotype-specific arrhythmogenic trigger for type 1 long-QT syndrome (LQT1). We hypothesize that mimickers of concealed LQT1, namely catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT), may also underlie swimming-triggered cardiac events. Methods and Results - Between August 1997 and May 2003, 388 consecutive, unrelated patients were referred specifically for LQTS genetic testing. The presence of a personal and/or family history of a near-drowning or drowning was determined by review of the medical records and/or phone interviews and was blinded to genetic test results. Comprehensive mutational analysis of the 5 LQTS-causing channel genes, KCNQ1 (LQT1), KCNH2 (LQT2), SCN5A (LQT3), KCNE1 (LQT5), and KCNE2 (LQT6), along with KCNJ2 (Andersen-Tawil syndrome) and targeted analysis of 18 CPVT1-associated exons in RyR2, was performed with the use of denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography and direct DNA sequencing. Approximately 11% (43 of 388) of the index cases had a positive swimming phenotype. Thirty-three of these 43 index cases had a "Schwartz" score (≥4) suggesting high clinical probability of LQTS. Among this subset, 28 patients (85%) were LQT1, 2 patients (6%) were LQT2, and 3 were genotype negative. Among the 10 cases with low clinical probability for LQTS, 9 had novel, putative CPVT1-causing RyR2 mutations. Conclusions - In contrast to previous studies that suggested universal LQT1 specificity, genetic heterogeneity underlies channelopathies that are suspected chiefly because of a near-drowning or drowning. CPVT1 and strategic genotyping of RyR2 should be considered when LQT1 is excluded in the pathogenesis of a swimming-triggered arrhythmia syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2119-2124
Number of pages6
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 12 2004


  • Catecholamines
  • Genes
  • Ion channels
  • Long-QT syndrome
  • Tachycardia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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