Overview

Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a heart rhythm condition that can potentially cause fast, chaotic heartbeats. These rapid heartbeats might trigger a sudden fainting spell or seizure. In some cases, the heart can beat erratically for so long that it causes sudden death.

You can have a genetic mutation that puts you at risk of being born with congenital long QT syndrome. In addition, certain medications, imbalances of the body's salts and minerals (electrolyte abnormalities), and medical conditions might cause acquired long QT syndrome.

Long QT syndrome is treatable. You might need to take medications to prevent an erratic heart rhythm. In some cases, treatment for long QT syndrome involves surgery or an implantable device.

You'll also need to avoid certain medications that could trigger your long QT syndrome. After treatment, you likely can live and thrive, even with this condition. You may be able to continue being active in recreational — and even competitive — sports.

Long QT care at Mayo Clinic