Gender differences in the long QT syndrome: Effects of β-adrenoceptor blockade

Chantal E. Conrath*, Arthur A.M. Wilde, Rosalie J.E. Jongbloed, Mariëlle Alders, Irene M. Van Langen, J. Peter Van Tintelen, Pieter A. Doevendans, Tobias Opthof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Gender differences have been reported in patients with the congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS). We analyzed whether electrocardiographic differences existed in females, males, girls and boys in response to β-adrenoceptor blockade. Methods: 12-lead ECGs before and during β-adrenoceptor blockade were collected in 87 genotyped LQTS patients (48 women, 14 men, 12 girls and 13 boys). Up to three QTc intervals were determined in each lead of the ECG. V4 was used for QT/QTc analysis. Difference between longest and shortest QT interval was taken as a measure for dispersion of QT intervals. Results: (1) Adult males had the greatest shortening of the QTc interval upon treatment with β-adrenoceptor blockade. During treatment, adult males with LQTS1 (mutation in the KCNQ1 gene, affecting IKs current) were found to have shorter QTc intervals than adult females; this difference did not exist in LQTS2 patients (mutation in the HERG gene, affecting IKr current). (2) Female LQTS2 patients had a 50% larger dispersion than female LQTS1 patients both before and during treatment. (3) Adult male LQTS1 patients constitute the only patient group with a marked decrease in QTc intervals and dispersion associated with a 100% efficacy of treatment in response to β-adrenoceptor blockade. Conclusions: These findings indicate that, in addition to underlying differences in repolarization between men and women, cardiac electrophysiological responses to β-adrenoceptor blockade can be modulated by gender-related factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)770-776
Number of pages7
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2002


  • Adrenergic (ant)agonists
  • ECG
  • Gender
  • Long QT syndrome
  • QT dispersion


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