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Dr. C.
Dr. C., Board Certified
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 3064
Experience:  Physician with 30 years experience
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My dr said I have mild qtc.what does that mean

Customer Question

My dr said I have mild qtc.what does that mean
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 3 years ago.

Dr. C. :

Hi and welcome to the site. My name is Dr. C. and I'll be providing medical information for you today.

Dr. C. :

QTC is not a standard medical abbreviation. Is this related to the heart?

Dr. C. :

If so, it may refer to a specific pattern on an EKG.

Dr. C. :

Many people with mild QT interval prolongation, don't have any symptoms at all.

Dr. C. :

The QT interval refers to the recovery of the part of the heart called the ventricle in preparation for receiving the next beat which starts in the part of the heart called the atrium.

Dr. C. :

Before I get into more explanation of this, please REPLY so that we can clarify what QTC may refer to in your situation.

Dr. C. :

If this was a result of a heart evaluation, your doctor may be talking about a long QT interval. If that is what this is about, here is an excellent review article of the condition:

Dr. C. :

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/long-qt-syndrome/DS00434

Dr. C. :

If this isn't what your doctor was talking about, please REPLY and let me know what symptoms you were having and the types of tests done so that I can figure out what your doctor was actually referring to.

Dr. C. :

I want to be sure you have the most helpful information for your situation.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I had palpitations so dr done an ECG to see if I had arrhythmia.he said I had the long gts but is very mild and its not dangerous.ithere was no arrhythmia.i want to know what is qtc and is it considered a heart problem .is it common.
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes in that case it is the QT interval prolongation that the doctor is talking about. The Mayo link above is the correct summary for your condition. If there was no arrhythmia then there is nothing to treat. Palpitations are very common and are not necessarily the sign of a true heart condition. Usually with palpitations, we do an EKG and check the thyroid. If there is no arrythmia found on EKG and the thyroid function is normal, we usually have a person avoid caffeine and alcohol. If the palpitations persist, a Holter monitor is usually done to look for arrhythmias that may not have shown up on the EKG. A Holter monitor is worn for 24 hours and will detect arrhythmias that occur less frequently. Mild prolongtation of QT interval is quite common and can be found "incidentally" when an EKG is performed for screening or for palpitations. Please REPLY if I can clarify anything else. I hope this information has been helpful.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I am overweight trying to lose weight.i do get tired and breathless with. Very little activity.is that normal and due to my weight and the qtc .is it dangerous or not thank you.
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 3 years ago.
If just starting out on an exercise program, it's typical to get tired and out of breath quickly. I'm glad that you've started though. Because you're just starting out, you'll want to work up slowly. Your doctor would be thrilled to hear that you'd like to start an exercise program and can design one that is safe for you. It depends on your overall health and what other medical conditions and medications you're on. It would be typical to start with just walking for 15 minutes daily. Increasing by 5 minutes every 3 days would be a gradual way to increase. Ideally, walking for 30-60 minutes 5-7 days weekly would be a target. Walking is an under-rated form of exercise. Once you're able to do 30-60 minutes of brisk walking 5-7 days weekly, you can stay with that or talk to your doctor about increasing from there. This does all depend on the specifics of your situation, most importantly other medical issues and medications. If you are basically healthy other than overweight and not having exercised for a while, the above should be a reasonable approach.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Sorry but I wanted to know if the qtc can give you heart attack or not
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 3 years ago.
Well yes it can. If it's severe it can cause the heart to beat irregularly. If the heart beats irregularly, the blood will not be circulated effectively. This can cause a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to any part of the heart muscle itself is cut off. This can happen if there are blockages in the blood vessels feeding blood to the heart muscle itself or if the heart can't pump effectively. This can happen with prolonged QT intervals. More often, the prolonged QT interval will cause fainting, low blood pressure or a feeling or dizziness or wekaness.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dr told me that I shouldn't worry cause is mild and wouldn't cause me heart attacks so I don't know what I should think now.and also you said there are very common.so what shall I do .can mine become severe suddenly and what causes the qtc .thanks.
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 3 years ago.
Your doctor thinks yours is mild and will not cause you trouble. It's also true that severe QT prolongation can cause heart arrhythmia and heart attack. Your doctor seems to be saying that yours IS NOT in this range of possibility.

There is a long list of possible causes of QT interval prolongation. Some are heriditary. It could be that a slightly long QT interval runs in your family. There are also MANY medications that can cause QT interval prolongation. Here is a longer more complete list of possibilities:

http://www.cardiology.org/tools/ecg_abnormalities/QTPK.htm

Here is an EXCELLENT review article about medications that can cause this condition:

http://www.courses.ahc.umn.edu/pharmacy/5822/QT_prolongation_Roden_nejm_04.pdf

These are medications that should be avoided if at all possible. Your doctor would be the best to advise if any of these medications were recommended for you for any reason. There would need to be a discussion of the benefits versus the risks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
He said it might settle down by itself so does that mean it can actually go and stop completely?and also palpitations and skipped heartbeats.it didn't show anything on ECG so are they harmless. I must say I have anxiety disorder as well.
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, the ECG can change over time naturally. It can be that if the EKG was taken again in the future, the mild QT interval prolongation could be gone. Heart palpitations can also come and go. If they flare, the best initial response is to stop all caffeine and alcohol. Engaging in regular exercise like the brisk walking can be very helpful to manage anxiety. Whether the palpitations and skipped heartbeats are harmless or not depends on how often they occur and if a person has symptoms. Here is an article that outlines how doctors think about evaluation and treatment of palpitations:

http://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/0215/p743.html

Palpitations are quite commonly associated with anxiety. Exercise and stress management and breathing exercises are the most effective initial treatment.

Here is a good article about breathing exercises:

http://cas.umkc.edu/casww/brethexr.htm

If you combine this with the brisk walking I described above, you may find the anxiety and palpitations both improve. If they worsen over time or you develop new symptoms, Holter monitoring or echocardiogram would be the next step in evaluation.

I hope this information has been helpful and reassuring.
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi. It's Dr. C. Did you have any follow-up questions?

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