Fever may trigger heart failure in patients with the genetic disease LQT-2

Jun 12, 2008

The potentially fatal heart disease LQT-2, which is characterized by the prolongation of a specific interval of time (known as the QT interval) in the heart's electrical cycle, is caused by mutations in the HERG gene.

What triggers the changes in the electrical activity in the heart (and therefore in the beating of the heart) has not been completely determined, although loud noises and emotional stress can be triggers.

In a new study, a team of researchers from the Academic Medical Centre, The Netherlands, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, has revealed that fever can also trigger life-threatening changes in the electrical activity in the heart of patients with LQT-2.

The team, led by Arthur Wilde and Craig January, measured the electrical activity in the heart over time (something that is recorded in an ECG) of two LQT-2 patients with the same HERG mutation (A558P), and found that fever was associated with prolonged QT intervals in these individuals. When this mutation was introduced into a cultured human cell line, the cells exhibited temperature-dependent characteristics, including altered electrical currents across their cell membranes at high temperatures.

The authors therefore conclude that similar changes in electrical currents occur in heart cells at the high temperatures associated with fever and that fever is a potential trigger of the potentially lethal changes in the electrical activity in the heart of patients with LQT-2.

Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation

Explore further: Heat blamed for spray vaccine's failure against swine flu

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Professor on quest for India's hidden inventors

Jul 29, 2012

(AP) — It's 43 degrees Celsius (110 F), and Prof. Anil Gupta has been hiking the scorched plains of central India for hours. But he smiles widely as he enters a tiny village in search of another unsung ...

Recommended for you

Trapping the Ebola virus in transit

37 minutes ago

The deadly Ebola virus makes use of host mechanisms – including a specific type of membrane-bound calcium channel – to gain entry into the cell cytoplasm. LMU researchers now show that blocking this channel ...

Saudi reports 10 MERS deaths in a week

44 minutes ago

Ten more people in Saudi Arabia have died from MERS over the past week, health ministry figures showed on Friday, after an international mission urged extra measures to combat the virus.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.