Spontaneous electrocardiogram alterations predict ventricular fibrillation in Brugada syndrome

Yutaka Take, Hiroshi Morita, Jiashin Wu, Satoshi Nagase, Shiho Morita, Norihisa Toh, Nobuhiro Nishii, Kazufumi Nakamura, Kengo F. Kusano, Tohru Ohe, Hiroshi Ito, Douglas P. Zipes

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Patients with Brugada syndrome (BS) often have spontaneous changes in their electrocardiogram (ECG). Objective: To evaluate the significance of ECG alterations, we investigated the relationships between the ECG and the occurrence of ventricular fibrillation (VF) in both patients and an experimental model of BS. Methods: In study 1, we evaluated ECG alterations in BS patients with (VF+, n = 33) and without (VF-, n = 41) spontaneous VF. We defined type 0 ECG as coved-type ST elevation without a negative T wave, which represents the existence of loss-of-dome (LOD) type action potentials (APs). In study 2, we optically mapped epicardial APs and recorded transmural ECGs in 34 canine right ventricular tissues with a drug-induced BS model by a combination of pinacidil and pilsicainide. Results: In study 1, changes in ST level <0.2 mV were more frequent in the VF+ group than in the VF- group (P <.01). Spontaneous ECG alterations and appearances of types 1 and 0 ECGs were more frequent in the VF+ group than in the VF- group (P <.01). In study 2, BS model with spike-and-dome (SAD) epicardial APs exhibited type 1 ECG. Deepening of the phase 1 notch of the APs induced heterogeneous conversion of the APs (SAD→LOD) and resulted in ECG conversion from type 1 to type 0. Significant AP heterogeneity often appeared during AP alterations and initiated phase 2 reentry. Tissues having ventricular tachycardia (VT; n = 20) had more frequent alterations in APs and ECG than in tissues without VT (n = 14; P <.01). Conclusion: ECG alterations, especially conversion between types 0 and 1, are associated with significant AP heterogeneity that can initiate VF in BS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014-1021
Number of pages8
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Brugada syndrome
  • Electrocardiography
  • Sudden death
  • Ventricular fibrillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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