Andersen–Tawil syndrome or ATS is a rare genetic disorder that affects the heart. Some of the common symptoms include a disruption in the rhythm of the heart’s lower chambers. Additionally, there are physical abnormalities associated with Andersen–Tawil syndrome, which typically affect the head, face, and limbs, and include an unusually small lower jaw, low-set ears, and an abnormal curvature of the fingers called clinodactyly.
HOW IS ANDERSEN-TAWIL SYNDROME DIAGNOSED?
When assessing a person for ATS, the doctor will look at all close relatives; parents, brothers and sisters, children, perhaps even cousins, because the signs of the disorder can be spread out among family members. One might have paralytic attacks; another might have heart problems and the physical signs, like widely spaced eyes or webbing between toes, and have no weakness. The physical signs might be very subtle and easily overlooked by anyone other than an experienced clinician. Additionally, ATS can be diagnosed by monitoring a patient’s cardiac movements by using CT scan, MRI scan or ultrasound.
HOW IS ANDERSEN-TAWIL SYNDROME TREATED?
Treatment for the Andersen-Tawil syndrome is directed towards each symptom. There are no standardized protocols in place for treatment of the disease. Those affected by the disease are advised to avoid triggers of periodic paralysis attacks. Treatment with oral supplements of potassium can help minimize the duration of the periodic paralytic attack. In very rare cases treatment using an implantable automatic cardioverter-defibrillator is used.
DID YOU KNOW?
The drugs may help the heart, but may have a negative effect on the skeletal system.