Arrhythmia-related workup in hereditary myopathies

  • Finsterer J
  • Stöllberger C
  • Keller H
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Background: Arrhythmias determine life expectancy in patients with hereditary myopathies. Aims: The aim of this study was to summarize recent advances in the diagnosis and management of arrhythmias in hereditary myopathies. Methods: Literature search via PubMed and inclusion of own experiences were performed. Results: All types of arrhythmias can be found in patients with hereditary myopathies, but some are more prevalent than others. Arrhythmias reported in myopathies include atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, sick-sinus syndrome, preexcitation syndromes, atrioventricular conduction delay, intraventricular conduction delay, and ventricular tachycardia. Sudden cardiac death is a common finding in certain myopathies, and patients at risk for ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death should be identified early enough to implant a cardioverter-defibrillator to prevent a fatal outcome. Myopathies associated with a high risk for arrhythmias include laminopathies, Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy I, mitochondrial myopathies, fatty-acid oxidation defects, and dystrophinopathies. To detect arrhythmias with high risk for sudden cardiac death, patients require close follow-up investigations or an implantable loop recorder. Documentation of severe arrhythmias requires immediate treatment according to established guidelines. Conclusions: Patients with certain hereditary myopathies carry an increased risk for developing severe supraventricular or ventricular arrhythmias and for dying of sudden cardiac death. Close follow-up and long-term surveillance of the electrocardiogram may prevent fatal complications of arrhythmias in these patients. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Arrhythmias
  • Cardiac conduction defects
  • ECG recording
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Heart rhythm
  • Holter
  • Impulse generation or propagation defects
  • Loop recorder

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