Brugada syndrome is a serious disorder marked by abnormal heart rhythm. It causes heartbeat indicating Brugada sign when tested by electrocardiogram device. It is a genetic syndrome often passed to the children by the parents. This syndrome will not show any symptoms and hence there is every chance for the affected person to remain unaware of the serious condition. This disorder can be treated by implanting a device called cardioverter defibrillator.
Brugada syndrome will not show any obvious symptoms. The only sign for identifying the disorder is the abnormal pattern shown in the ECG reading which is described as Brugada sign. Nobody can feel this sign and can be detected only on electrocardiogram device.
Some people may show signs like irregular heartbeat, palpitations, feeling of fainting, and stopped heartbeat. It is not necessary for all the people diagnosed with Brugada sign to have this syndrome it can be due to any other heart problems.
* Brugada syndrome is also called as inheritable arrhythmia syndrome in which each child will have 50% chance of inheriting this disorder if any one of the parents possesses its trait.
* Males will show more symptoms than females in this disorder.
* This syndrome will develop in people of age group 30-40 years and occurs largely during sleep.
* Only in 30% of the cases defective genes can be detected and in other cases the genetic defects still remain unknown.
* Right ventricles are more affected than left and more particularly it affects the outflow tract of the right ventricle.
* This disorder occurs only on certain geographic locations like Asian (south-east) countries and is widespread cause of death in many countries like Philippines, Japan, China and Thailand.
* It was Brugada brothers who first described the features of ECG that causes sudden death in many patients and hence it was named after them.
This syndrome is an inherited disorder which runs in families. In rare cases, it can develop due to structural abnormality in your heart.
How it happens?
Normally your heart beats in a systemic rhythm generated by an electric impulse. These impulses are triggered by the cells present in the right chamber of the heart. There will be tiny pores in the right chamber which produces this electrical impulse to which your heart responds in organized way.
In individuals affected with Brugada syndrome, there will be defect in these channels that triggers electrical activity and hence the heartbeat will be abnormal. Because of this, your heartbeat will be improper which in turn will not send sufficient volumes of blood to the rest of your body. This may cause fainting and even sudden heart attack causing death.
Risk Factors :
Anyone with family history of Brugada syndrome is likely to get this disorder in later ages. Men have increased chance for developing this problem when compared to women. This disorder is prevalent in specific races. If not attended immediately, this syndrome can cause loss of consciousness and even death and this often occurs during sleep.
Your doctor will look for the above symptoms by listening to your heartbeat. He may order for other invasive procedures like ECG for measuring any irregularity in heartbeat, Electrophysiology test to detect arrhythmia has developed. EP test can tell you exactly where inside the heart problem has developed. In this procedure, catheter is sent into your vein till the heart through which small electrodes are passed. These electrodes will detect irregular heartbeats through defective electric signals running in the heart. For some cases, genetic testing will be done for detecting Brugada syndrome in other family members.
Depending on the health condition of the patient, treatment is given. Implantable cardioverter defibrillator is placed inside the heart which will monitor heartbeat and produce mild electric shock to regulate the abnormal heart rhythm. Your doctor will do this procedure if you have family history of cardiac death, or have any serious heart problems.
People with ICD will have to monitor their health condition regularly with the doctor since there is a chance for the device to send sudden shock to the heart even if the heartbeat is normal. You can get mild shock when you are doing exercises and strenuous work. Hence discuss with the pros and cons of having ICD device before getting ready for treatment. If you are a person with family history of Brugada syndrome then you need to be very careful. You should have regular checkups with your doctor for detecting any abnormality in the heart.