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Brugada syndrome is a rare inherited heart rhythm disturbance that restricts the flow of sodium ions into the heart cells which disrupt the flow of electrical impulses through the heart and lead to life threatening problems. The symptoms are blackouts, fainting and palpitations which require immediate medical attention.
HOW IS BRUGADA SYNDROME DIAGNOSED?
Cardiologists may look for potential cardiac causes of syncope or cardiac arrest in an otherwise healthy person during physical examination. Diagnostic methods are:
• 12-lead ECG in all patients with syncope
• Drug challenge with sodium channel blocker
• Electrophysiologic study for studying inducibility or arrhythmia
• Serum, potassium and calcium tests
• Potassium and calcium levels
• Genetic testing
• Echocardiography and MRI
HOW IS BRUGADA SYNDROME TREATED?
The only effective and successful treatment for Brugada syndrome is having an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) fitted. An ICD is similar to a pacemaker. Medicines are prescribed to help prevent heart rhythm disturbances like avoiding high temperatures (fever) with paracetamol and treating illnesses such as diarrhoea, which can affect the balance of salts in the body.
DID YOU KNOW?
The prevalence of Brugada ECG is more in Asia than in the US and Europe.