Specificity of elevated intercostal space ECG recording for the type 1 Brugada ECG pattern

Anders G Holst, Mogens Tangø, Velislav Batchvarov, Malini Govindan, Stig Haunsø, Jesper H Svendsen, Elijah R Behr, Jacob Tfelt-Hansen
Annals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology 2012, 17 (2): 108-12

BACKGROUND: Right precordial (V1-3) elevated electrode placement ECG (EEP-ECG) is often used in the diagnosis of Brugada syndrome (BrS). However, the specificity of this has only been studied in smaller studies in Asian populations. We aimed to study this in a larger European population.

METHODS: Two different populations consisting of healthy subjects were used. A total of 340 subjects were included, 80% were men, the median age was 43 year (interquartile range: 31-51) and all were of European ethnicity.

RESULTS: No type 1 ECG patterns were identified but 16 (4.7%) subjects with a type 2 ECG and 32 (9.4%) subjects with a type 3 ECG were identified in any lead placement. In total 43 (13%) subjects had any BrS ECG pattern in any lead placement. The specificity was 100% (one-sided 97.5% CI: 99%) for the use of EEP-ECG to uncover type 1 pattern. For type 2 pattern the specificity was 95% (95% CI: 92-97%) and for type 3 pattern 91% (95% CI: 88-94%).

CONCLUSIONS: Elevated electrode placement ECG in the diagnosis of BrS seems to have a very high specificity with regards to the finding of a type 1 ECG pattern in a European population; conversely a finding of a type 2 or 3 pattern is of a significantly lower specificity and should perhaps be disregarded.

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