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24 November 2022 : Case report  Japan

[In Press] Cardiac Arrest Following Torsades de Pointes Caused by Hypokalemia and Catecholamines in a Patient with Congenital Long QT Syndrome Type 1 After Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement: A Case Report

Unusual setting of medical care, Patient complains / malpractice, Rare disease, Adverse events of drug therapy , Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis)

Atsuhiro Kitaura1ABCDEFG, Shinichi Nakao2CDEF, Haruyuki Yuasa1EF, Shota Tsukimoto1CDF, Yasuhumi Nakajima1FG

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.938609

Am J Case Rep In Press; DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.938609  

Available online: 2022-11-24, In Press, Corrected Proof

Publication in the "In-Press" formula aims at speeding up the public availability of the pending manuscript while waiting for the final publication. The assigned DOI number is active and citable. The availability of the article in the Medline, PubMed and PMC databases as well as Web of Science will be obtained after the final publication according to the journal schedule


Prevention of lethal arrhythmias in congenital long QT syndrome type 1 (LQT1) requires avoidance of sympathoexcitation, drugs that prolong QT, and electrolyte abnormalities. However, it is often difficult to avoid all these risks in the perioperative period of open heart surgery. Herein, we report hypokalemia-induced cardiac arrest in a postoperative cardiac patient with LQT1 on catecholamine.
A 79-year-old woman underwent surgical aortic valve replacement for severe aortic stenosis. Although the initial plan was not to use catecholamine, catecholamine was used in the Postoperative Intensive Care Unit with attention to QT interval and electrolytes due to heart failure caused by postoperative bleeding. Serum potassium levels were controlled above 4.5 mEq/L, and no arrhythmic events occurred. On postoperative day 4, the patient was started on insulin owing to hyperglycemia. Cardiac arrest occurred after the first insulin dose; the implantable cardioverter defibrillator was activated, and the patient’s own heartbeat resumed. Subsequent examination revealed that a marked decrease in serum potassium level had occurred after insulin administration. The electrocardiogram showed obvious QT prolongation and ventricular fibrillation following R on T. Thereafter, under strict potassium management, there was no recurrence of cardiac arrest events.
A patient with LQT1 who underwent open heart surgery developed ventricular fibrillation after Torsades de Pointes, probably due to hypokalemia after insulin administration in addition to catecholamine. It is important to check serum potassium levels to avoid the onset of Torsades de Pointes in patients with long QT syndrome. In addition, the impact of insulin administration was reaffirmed.

Keywords: Arrhythmias, Cardiac; Catecholamines; Death, Sudden, Cardiac; Diabetes Mellitus


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American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923
American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923