Channelopathies are a group of disorders that occur due to dysfunction of the ion channels in cells. These disorders can affect many systems in the body and can be genetic or acquired. Genetic disorders are inherited and present form birth, while acquired channelopathies can be due to autoimmune disorders, and are a cause of sudden death in children and adults.
Cardiovascular channelopathies change the flow of electricity through the heart and cause arrythmias such as atrial standstill, long QT syndrome, short QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome, sick sinus syndrome and catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia.
Genetic counselling will assist to identify those at risk of inherited arrythmias and genetic testing allows for early intervention to prevent damage to the heart muscle or sudden death.