What is inherited arrhythmia?

An arrhythmia is a disturbance in heart rhythm. Inherited arrhythmias are a group of conditions that run in families and include:

  • long QT syndrome (LQTS)
  • Brugada syndrome
  • catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPTV)
  • arrhythmogneic cardiomyopathy
  • hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • idiopathic ventricular fibrillation


Symptoms of inherited arrhythmias can include fainting, dizziness, seizures or a rapid heartbeat. These symptoms may be worse during exercise or emotional stress. If not treated, inherited arrhythmias may cause the heart to stop beating.


To diagnose an inherited arrhythmia, your child’s doctor may order one or more tests to look at your child’s heart. These may include

  • electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)
  • echocardiogram


There is no cure for inherited arrhythmias, but there are several treatments depending on the type of arrhythmia you have. These include lifestyle changes, medication, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) or surgery.

Learn more about Pediatric Cardiology services at Boston Children’s Health Physicians.

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