Long-term prognosis of patients diagnosed with Brugada syndrome: Results from the FINGER Brugada Syndrome Registry

V Probst, C Veltmann, L Eckardt, P G Meregalli, F Gaita, H L Tan, D Babuty, F Sacher, C Giustetto, E Schulze-Bahr, M Borggrefe, M Haissaguerre, P Mabo, H Le Marec, C Wolpert, A A M Wilde
Circulation 2010 February 9, 121 (5): 635-43

BACKGROUND: Brugada syndrome is characterized by ST-segment elevation in the right precordial leads and an increased risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD). Fundamental questions remain on the best strategy for assessing the real disease-associated arrhythmic risk, especially in asymptomatic patients. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prognosis and risk factors of SCD in Brugada syndrome patients in the FINGER (France, Italy, Netherlands, Germany) Brugada syndrome registry.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Patients were recruited in 11 tertiary centers in 4 European countries. Inclusion criteria consisted of a type 1 ECG present either at baseline or after drug challenge, after exclusion of diseases that mimic Brugada syndrome. The registry included 1029 consecutive individuals (745 men; 72%) with a median age of 45 (35 to 55) years. Diagnosis was based on (1) aborted SCD (6%); (2) syncope, otherwise unexplained (30%); and (3) asymptomatic patients (64%). During a median follow-up of 31.9 (14 to 54.4) months, 51 cardiac events (5%) occurred (44 patients experienced appropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator shocks, and 7 died suddenly). The cardiac event rate per year was 7.7% in patients with aborted SCD, 1.9% in patients with syncope, and 0.5% in asymptomatic patients. Symptoms and spontaneous type 1 ECG were predictors of arrhythmic events, whereas gender, familial history of SCD, inducibility of ventricular tachyarrhythmias during electrophysiological study, and the presence of an SCN5A mutation were not predictive of arrhythmic events.

CONCLUSIONS: In the largest series of Brugada syndrome patients thus far, event rates in asymptomatic patients were low. Inducibility of ventricular tachyarrhythmia and family history of SCD were not predictors of cardiac events.

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