Background: Type 3 long QT syndrome (LQT3) is caused by pathogenic, gain-of-function variants in SCN5A leading to a prolonged action potential, ventricular ectopy, and torsades de pointes. Treatment options include pharmacotherapy, cardiac denervation, and/or device therapy. Rarely, patients with malignant LQT3 require cardiac transplantation.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of chronic continuous intravenous (IV) lidocaine as a therapeutic option for select patients with LQT3 refractory to standard therapy.
Methods: We performed a retrospective review of patients evaluated and treated at Mayo Clinic and identified 4 of 161 patients with LQT3 (2.5%) who were refractory to standard therapies and therefore treated with IV lidocaine.
Results: There were 4 patients (2 female [50%]). The median age at first IV lidocaine infusion was 2 months (interquartile range 1.5-4.8 months), and the median cumulative duration on IV lidocaine was 11.5 months (interquartile range 8.7-17.8 months). The main indication for IV lidocaine in all patients was persistent ventricular arrhythmias. Before IV lidocaine, all patients received an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, and while on intermittent IV lidocaine, all patients underwent bilateral cardiac sympathetic denervation. Additionally, 2 (50%) patients had cardiac ablation for premature ventricular complexes. In all patients, lidocaine infusion resulted in a significant reduction of LQT3-triggered cardiac events. The main side effects of IV lidocaine observed were dizziness (n = 2, 50%) and seizures (n = 2, 50%). During follow-up, 3 of 4 (75%) patients underwent orthotopic cardiac transplantation. The remaining patient continues to receive IV lidocaine bolus for rescue as needed.
Conclusion: For patients with LQT3 who are refractory to standard treatment, chronic IV lidocaine infusion can be used as a potential "bridge to transplant."
Keywords: Arrhythmias; Genetics; Lidocaine; Long QT syndrome; Sudden cardiac death.
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