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: West Africa seals off Ebola outbreak epicentre

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Iliad founder says T-Mobile offer is 'real'

4 hours ago

French telecom upstart Iliad's founder said Friday that the company's offer for US-based T-Mobile is "real" and that he is open to working with partners on a deal.

Law changed to allow 'unlocking' cellphones

4 hours ago

President Barack Obama signed a bill into law on Friday making it legal once again to unlock a cellphone without permission from a wireless provider, so long as the service contract has expired.

Social network challenges end in tragedy

4 hours ago

Online challenges daring people to set themselves ablaze or douse themselves in ice water are racking up casualties and fueling wonder regarding idiocy in the Internet age.

Microsoft sues Samsung alleging contract breach

4 hours ago

Microsoft on Friday sued Samsung in federal court claiming the South Korean giant had breached a contract over cross-license technology used in the fiercely competitive smartphone market.

Recommended for you

West Africa seals off Ebola outbreak epicentre

4 hours ago

West Africa's Ebola-hit nations announced a cross-border isolation zone on Friday, sealing off the epicentre of the world's worst-ever outbreak as health chiefs warned the epidemic was spiralling out of control.

STDs on the rise in Miami area

9 hours ago

Rates of both chlamydia and syphilis in Miami-Dade have nearly doubled since 2006, according to new statistics from the Florida Department of Health.

User comments : 0