Pregnant women with inherited long QT syndrome (iLQTS) are at an increased risk for preterm delivery and intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) due to their underlying disease. Additionally, they are at a risk of arrhythmogenic events, particularly during the postpartum period because of physiological changes and increased emotional/physical stress. β-receptor blockers can effectively prevent life-threatening Torsades de Pointes ventricular tachycardia and they are the treatment of choice in iLQTS. Use of β-receptor blockers in pregnancy is recommended, although IUGR is commonly reported for prenatally exposed infants. IUGR, particularly in preterm infants, can result in adverse neonatal outcomes. This review was performed to support clinicians in their selection of β-receptor blocker treatment for their pregnant iLQTS women by (i) summarizing the available literature addressing the impact of different β-receptor blockers on IUGR and (ii) reporting additional aspects which might influence the β-receptor blocker selection. In general, experts recommend to use nonselective β-receptor blockers, such as nadolol and propranolol, for iLQTS management as these drugs seem to be superior in effectiveness. However, β-1-selective receptor blockers, such as bisoprolol or metoprolol, seem to affect less likely uterine contraction, peripheral vasodilation, and are associated with lower IUGR rates and fetal hypoglycemia. They are therefore recommended, except atenolol, as first-line therapy for pregnant women. Additionally, maternal factors such as iLQTS genotype, other underlying comorbidities (e.g., diabetes mellitus type 1, asthma bronchiale), and uteroplacental dysfunction or fetal factors have to be taken into account. Therefore, each woman with iLQTS who wants to become pregnant should be well-advised for a personalized β-receptor blocker therapy according to the individual risk-benefit evaluation by a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, gynecologists, pediatric cardiologists, neonatologists, and clinical pharmacologists. During pregnancy, a close monitoring of IUGR and, after birth, monitoring of bradycardia, hypoglycemia, and respiratory depression in the neonate is mandatory. This review summarizes available data on β-receptor blocker-related risk for IUGR in prenatally exposed infants and illustrates which factors might influence β-receptor blocker selection with the aim to support clinicians in their pharmacological management of their pregnant iLQTS patients.
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.