Clin. Cardiol. 23, 849–851 (2000)
Michael H. Monroe, M.D., and Laszlo Littmann, M.D.
Department of Internal Medicine, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Background: Recommendations have recently emerged suggesting that the presence of the Brugada electrocardiographic (ECG) pattern in an otherwise asymptomatic individual warrants electrophysiologic testing for inducible ventricular arrhythmias. However, the prevalence of this pattern in the general population and its specificity for identifying those likely to develop the true Brugada syndrome are not known.
Hypothesis: The purpose of this study was to collect ECGs that displayed the Brugada pattern from unselected, noncardiac patients at a single institution to determine whether the implied prevalence in the literature may represent a significant underestimation of the true prevalence.
Methods: We performed a prospective case collection of Brugada-patterned ECGs over a 2-year time period from unselected, noncardiac patients at a large urban teaching hospital.
Results: Of approximately 12,000 noncardiac patients, 52 were found to have an ECG pattern fully consistent with the Brugada sign.
Conclusions: The Brugada type ECG pattern is much more prevalent than previously reported when rigorously searched for in a prospective manner. More data are needed on its specificity for predicting future arrhythmic events in asymptomatic individuals before recommendations are made for extensive evaluation in this group.
Key words: Brugada syndrome, sudden cardiac death, abnormal electrocardiogram
Address for reprints:
Michael H. Monroe, M.D.
Department of Internal Medicine
Carolinas Medical Center
P.O. Box 32861
Charlotte, NC 28232-2861, USA
Received: October 26, 1999
Accepted with revision: February 3, 2000