Brugada Syndrome: Diagnosis, Clinical Manifestations, Risk Stratification and Treatment


Series: Cardiology Research and Clinical Developments
BISAC: MED010000

Electrocardiographically characterized by a distinct ST-segment elevation in the right precordial leads, Brugada syndrome (BrS) is an arrhythmogenic disease reported to be responsible for at least 4% of all sudden deaths (at least 20% of sudden deaths in those without structural heart disease), and is a leading cause of death in subjects under the age of forty years. Global prevalence of the BrS varies from 5% to 20% in every 10,000 inhabitants worldwide, and it is considered endemic in Asian and Southeast Asian countries.

The diagnosis is mainly based on electrocardiographic features and may be hampered by incomplete penetrance, particularly because of dynamic ECG manifestations. As far as we know, inheritance occurs via an autosomal dominant mode of transmission, and about eighteen genes have been associated with BrS; thus far, genetic abnormalities are found in 30-50% of genotyped BrS patients. Mutations in the cardiac sodium channel gene SCN5A are identified in 11–28% of patients with BrS, with over 300 different mutations of SCN5A having been identified as the list still grows. Because a genotype remains lacking for at least half of BrS probands, a negative genetic test does not rule out BrS. Febrile states, dysionia and many drugs such as vagotonic agents, sodium channel blockers, α-adrenergic agonists, β-adrenergic blockers, antidepressants, and alcohol and cocaine toxicity may unmask the electrocardiographic concealed ECG manifestations of BrS. Identifying patients with BrS at risk of malignant arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death remains the most important objective and therefore the fundamental question remains on the best strategy for assessing the real disease-associated arrhythmic risk, especially in asymptomatic patients.

The therapeutic approach for patients with BrS is centered on the prevention of cardiac arrest and syncopal events due to ventricular arrhythmias. Lifestyle changes, such as never using drugs that may potentially induce ventricular arrhythmias and an immediate treatment of fever, should be recommended in all patients with diagnosis of BrS. Some drugs have been tested in BrS patients, but controlled data and/or randomized studies proving their real effective have not been performed. Currently, the cornerstone of therapy for the prevention of sudden cardiac death (SCD) is an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). An accurate individual risk stratification to select patients for ICD implantation should be accurately performed, particularly in asymptomatic patients.

Lastly, catheter ablation of the substrate located in the anterior epicardial region of the right ventricular outflow tract may be considered in patients with a history of arrhythmic storms or repeated appropriate ICD shocks. The study of the areas of delayed depolarization in patients with BrS and the procedure of catheter ablation of the substrate located in the anterior epicardial region therefore opens new horizons in regards to the management of patients with extremely frequent ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation (VT/VF), for patients at high risk who refuse the implantation of an ICD, and for a better prognostic stratification of patients with BrS not classified as high risk for SCD. (Imprint: Nova Biomedical)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Chapter 1
Definition and Prevalence
(Gregory Dendramis, Charles Antzelevitch, and Pedro Brugada)

Chapter 2
Genetic Basis of Brugada Syndrome
(Gregory Dendramis, Charles Antzelevitch, and Pedro Brugada)

Chapter 3
Cellular and Ionic Mechanisms Underlying the Development of the Brugada Phenotype
(Gregory Dendramis, Charles Antzelevitch, and Pedro Brugada)

Chapter 4
Diagnosis of Brugada Syndrome
(Gregory Dendramis and Pedro Brugada)

Chapter 5
Modulating-Precipitating Factors and Brugada Phenocopies
(Gregory Dendramis)

Chapter 6
Clinical Manifestations
(Gregory Dendramis and Pedro Brugada)

Chapter 7
Prognosis and Risk Stratification
(Gregory Dendramis, Pedro Brugada, and Claudia Paleologo)

Chapter 8
Treatment of Brugada Syndrome
(Gregory Dendramis, Maria Stella Baccillieri, Carlo De Asmundis and Pedro Brugada)


Additional Information

Fields of interest:
Cardiology, Arrhythmology, Cardiac Electrophysiology and Pacing, Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Genetics, Epidemiology and Cardiac Pharmacology.

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