Faulty cardiac repolarization reserve in alternating hemiplegia of childhood broadens the phenotype

Fatima Jaffer, Andreja Avbersek, Rosaria Vavassori, Carmen Fons, Jaume Campistol, Michela Stagnaro, Elisa De Grandis, Edvige Veneselli, Hendrik Rosewich, Melania Gianotta, Claudio Zucca, Francesca Ragona, Tiziana Granata, Nardo Nardocci, Mohamed Mikati, Ashley R. Helseth, Cyrus Boelman, Berge A. Minassian, Sophia Johns, Sarah I. GarryIngrid E. Scheffer, Isabelle Gourfinkel-An, Ines Carrilho, Sarah E. Aylett, Matthew Parton, Michael G. Hanna, Henry Houlden, Brian Neville, Manju A. Kurian, Jan Novy, Josemir W. Sander, Pier D. Lambiase, Elijah R. Behr, Tsveta Schyns, Alexis Arzimanoglou, J. Helen Cross, Juan P. Kaski, Sanjay M. Sisodiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alternating hemiplegia of childhood is a rare disorder caused by de novo mutations in the ATP1A3 gene, expressed in neurons and cardiomyocytes. As affected individuals may survive into adulthood, we use the term 'alternating hemiplegia'. The disorder is characterized by early-onset, recurrent, often alternating, hemiplegic episodes; seizures and non-paroxysmal neurological features also occur. Dysautonomia may occur during hemiplegia or in isolation. Premature mortality can occur in this patient group and is not fully explained. Preventable cardiorespiratory arrest from underlying cardiac dysrhythmia may be a cause. We analysed ECG recordings of 52 patients with alternating hemiplegia from nine countries: all had whole-exome, whole-genome, or direct Sanger sequencing of ATP1A3. Data on autonomic dysfunction, cardiac symptoms, medication, and family history of cardiac disease or sudden death were collected. All had 12-lead electrocardiogram recordings available for cardiac axis, cardiac interval, repolarization pattern, and J-point analysis. Where available, historical and prolonged single-lead electrocardiogram recordings during electrocardiogram-videotelemetry were analysed. Half the cohort (26/52) had resting 12-lead electrocardiogram abnormalities: 25/26 had repolarization (T wave) abnormalities. These abnormalities were significantly more common in people with alternating hemiplegia than in an age-matched disease control group of 52 people with epilepsy. The average corrected QT interval was significantly shorter in people with alternating hemiplegia than in the disease control group. J wave or J-point changes were seen in six people with alternating hemiplegia. Over half the affected cohort (28/52) had intraventricular conduction delay, or incomplete right bundle branch block, a much higher proportion than in the normal population or disease control cohort (P = 0.0164). Abnormalities in alternating hemiplegia were more common in those 16 years old, compared with those

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2859-2874
Number of pages16
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015


  • alternating hemiplegia of childhood
  • ATP1A3
  • electrocardiogram
  • Na/K-ATPase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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