BACKGROUND: The electrocardiographic pattern of right bundle-branch block with ST-segment elevation in leads V1 to V3 is increasingly recognized among patients who have aborted sudden cardiac death, but also in asymptomatic individuals, raising questions about its prognostic significance. METHODS AND RESULTS: The clinical, electrophysiological, and follow-up data of 334 patients with the Brugada phenotype were analyzed. A total of 79 women and 255 men with a mean age at diagnosis of 42+/-16 years were studied. The abnormal ECG was recognized after a resuscitated cardiac arrest in 71 patients (group A), after a syncopal episode in 73 patients (group B), and in 190 asymptomatic individuals (group C). Sustained ventricular arrhythmias were inducible in 83%, 63%, and 33% of patients in group A, group B, and group C, respectively. During 54+/-54 and 26+/-36 months of follow-up, respectively, 62% of patients in group A and 19% of group B patients had a new arrhythmic event. Inducibility of ventricular arrhythmias was the only predictor of arrhythmia occurrence in both groups. During a mean follow-up of 27+/-29 months, 8% of group C individuals had a first arrhythmic event. In these individuals, inducibility of ventricular arrhythmias and a basal abnormal ECG were predictors of arrhythmia occurrence. CONCLUSIONS: An ECG showing right bundle-branch block and ST-segment elevation in the right precordial leads is a marker of malignant ventricular arrhythmias and sudden death. Recurrence of malignant arrhythmias is high after the occurrence of symptoms. Among asymptomatic individuals, those with a spontaneously abnormal ECG and inducible to ventricular arrhythmias have the poorer prognosis.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|