Prevalence, characteristics, and prognosis role of type 1 ST elevation in the peripheral ECG leads in patients with Brugada syndrome

Heart Rhythm. 2013 Jul;10(7):1012-8. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2013.03.001. Epub 2013 Mar 14.


Background: Despite isolated reports of Brugada syndrome (BrS) in the inferior or lateral leads, the prevalence and prognostic value of ST elevation in the peripheral electrocardiographic (ECG) leads in patients with BrS remain poorly known.

Objective: To study the prevalence, characteristics, and prognostic value of type 1 ST elevation and ST depression in the peripheral ECG leads in a large cohort of patients with BrS.

Methods: ECGs from 323 patients with BrS (age 47 ± 13 years; 257 men) with spontaneous (n = 141) or drug-induced (n = 182) type 1 ECG were retrospectively reviewed. Two hundred twenty-five (70%) patients were asymptomatic, 72 (22%) patients presented with unexplained syncope, and 26 (8%) patients presented with sudden death (12 patients) or appropriated implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapies (14 patients) at diagnosis or over a mean follow-up of 48 ± 34 months.

Results: Thirty (9%) patients presented with type 1 ST elevation in at least 1 peripheral lead (22 patients in the aVR leads, 2 in the inferior leads, 5 in both aVR and inferior leads, and 1 in the aVR and VL leads). Patients with type 1 ST elevation in the peripheral leads more often had mutations in the SCN5A gene, were more often inducible, had slower heart rate, and higher J-wave amplitude in the right precordial leads. Twenty-seven percent (8 of 30) of the patients with type 1 ST elevation in the peripheral leads experimented sudden death/appropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy, whereas it occurred in only 6% (18 of 293) of other patients (P < .0001). In multivariate analysis, type 1 ECG in the peripheral leads was independently associated with malignant arrhythmic events (odds ratio 4.58; 95% confidence interval 1.7-12.32; P = .0025).

Conclusions: Type 1 ST elevation in the peripheral ECG leads can be seen in 10% of the patients with BrS and is an independent predictor for a malignant arrhythmic event.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brugada Syndrome / mortality
  • Brugada Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / epidemiology*
  • Electrocardiography / instrumentation*
  • Electrodes*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Young Adult