, Volume 169, Issue 5, pp 535-542
Date: 09 Feb 2010

Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia


Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) is an inherited arrhythmogenic disorder that causes syncopal episodes related with stress or emotion and even sudden cardiac deaths. Signs and symptoms usually begin in childhood. A suspicion of CPVT should be kept in mind when a child or an adolescent suddenly loses consciousness, particularly if this happens upon physical exercise or sudden mental stress. During the past decade, the knowledge of CPVT genetics and physiology has increased. Exercise testing is essential when suspecting arrhythmogenic origin of syncope, and in the case of CPVT, it may be even more sensitive than Holter monitoring. Beta-antiadrenergic medication can substantially decrease the mortality associated with CPVT. Asymptomatic patients with known CPVT gene defects should also be treated because sudden cardiac death may be the first manifestation of the disease. An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator may also be required in the most severe CPVT cases. In this review, we summarise the current knowledge on the clinical characteristics, diagnostic, genetic and prognostic features of CPVT in children. In all, 133 publications covering 60 years were checked, and those written in English and containing ten or more, mainly paediatric CPVT cases, were included. In addition, a CPVT family with three members and delayed diagnoses until late childhood and adulthood is presented.