What is Brugada Syndrome?Brugada syndrome is a rare, potentially life-threatening delay in the signal in the front of the heart. If you have Brugada syndrome, there is a defect in one of the ion channels of your heart. It increases the risk of abnormal heart rhythms and sudden cardiac death. Most patients with Brugada syndrome have no symptoms, so the condition often isn’t diagnosed.
Symptoms & Diagnosis of Brugada Syndrome
The heart’s electrical system requires electrical signals to go through specialized electrical tissue and the heart muscle (myocardium). The electrical tissues and the myocardium conduct electricity due to special molecules called ion channels. If you have Brugada syndrome, there is a defect in one of the ion channels.
Symptoms of Brugada syndrome include:
- Palpitations or irregular heartbeat
- Laboured breathing, especially at night
- Sudden death (typically occurs around age 40)
Many symptoms of Brugada syndrome occur when the person is resting or asleep. Brugada syndrome may be inherited, due to a structural heart abnormality, electrolyte imbalances, cocaine use or certain prescription medications. Brugada syndrome is more common in adult men and Asians. Some medications may cause an altered heart rhythm, including some that treat angina, depression and high blood pressure.
Brugada syndrome is detected by an electrocardiogram (ECG) test by recognizing an abnormality called a type 1 Brugada ECG pattern. Your doctor may also recommend an electrophysiology (EP) test or genetic testing.
Brugada Syndrome Treatment
If you’re diagnosed with Brugada syndrome, your physician may prescribe:
- Medications to prevent the heart from going into potentially dangerous rhythm
- An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) that continuously monitors heart rhythm and delivers electrical shocks when needed
If you experience arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat) or palpitations or an irregular heartbeat, see your primary care provider as soon as possible. If you faint and believe it could be related to a heart condition, seek emergency medical attention.
Speak with your cardiologist for more information on Brugada syndrome.
3 Important Things to Remember
- Brugada syndrome is more common in adult men and Asians.
- If you experience arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat), fainting or palpitations, see your primary care provider as soon as possible.
- If you’re diagnosed with Brugada syndrome, your physician may prescribe medications or an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).