Diagnostic accuracy of the response to the brief tachycardia provoked by standing in children suspected for long QT syndrome

Arja S Vink*, Ben J M Hermans, Joana Pimenta, Puck J Peltenburg, Luc H P M Filippini, Nynke Hofman, Sally-Ann B Clur, Nico A Blom, Arthur A M Wilde, Tammo Delhaas, Pieter G Postema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Adult long QT syndrome (LQTS) patients have inadequate corrected QT interval (QTc) shortening and an abnormal T-wave response to the sudden heart rate acceleration provoked by standing. In adults, this knowledge can be used to aid an LQTS diagnosis and, possibly, for risk stratification. However, data on the diagnostic value of the standing test in children are currently limited.

Objective: To determine the potential value of the standing test to aid LQTS diagnostics in children.

Methods: In a prospective cohort including children (≤18 years) who had a standing test, comprehensive analyses were performed including manual and automated QT interval assessments and determination of T-wave morphology changes.

Results: We included 47 LQTS children and 86 control children. At baseline, the QTc that identified LQTS children with a 90% sensitivity was 435 ms, which yielded a 65% specificity. A QTc ≥ 490 ms after standing only slightly increased sensitivity (91%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 80%-98%) and slightly decreased specificity (58%, 95% CI: 47%-70%). Sensitivity increased slightly more when T-wave abnormalities were present (94%, 95% CI: 82%-99%; specificity 53%, 95% CI: 42%-65%). When a baseline QTc ≥ 440 ms was accompanied by a QTc ≥ 490 ms and T-wave abnormalities after standing, sensitivity further increased (96%, 95% CI: 85%-99%) at the expense of a further specificity decrease (41%, 95% CI: 30%-52%). Beat-to-beat analysis showed that 30 seconds after standing, LQTS children had a greater increase in heart rate compared to controls, which was more evidently present in LQTS boys and LQTS type 1 children.

Conclusion: In children, the standing test has limited additive diagnostic value for LQTS over a baseline electrocardiogram, while T-wave abnormalities after standing also have limited additional value. The standing test for LQTS should only be used with caution in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-159
Number of pages11
JournalHeart Rhythm O2
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

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