In this first clinical report of an idiopathic familial persistently short QT interval (QTI), we describe three members of one family (a 17-year-old female, her 21-year-old brother, and their 51-year-old mother) demonstrating this ECG phenomenon, associated in the 17-year-old with several episodes of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation requiring electrical cardioversion. Similar ECG changes seen in an unrelated 37-year-old patient were associated with sudden cardiac death. Our report also describes other manifestations of abnormal shortening of the QTI and considers the possible arrhythmogenic potential of the short QTI.
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