Prognostic significance of early repolarization in inferolateral leads in Brugada patients with documented ventricular fibrillation: a novel risk factor for Brugada syndrome with ventricular fibrillation

Heart Rhythm. 2013 Aug;10(8):1161-8. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2013.04.009. Epub 2013 Apr 12.


Background: Little is known about the clinical and prognostic impact of early repolarization (ER) on patients with Brugada syndrome (BrS), especially those with documented ventricular fibrillation (VF).

Objective: To investigate the prevalence and prognostic significance of ER in inferolateral leads in patients with BrS and documented VF.

Methods: We investigated 10 different 12-lead electrocardiograms (ECGs) recorded on different days to identify the presence of ER, which was defined as J-point elevation ≥0.1 mV in inferior (II, III, aVF) or lateral leads (I, aVL, V₄-V₆), in 49 individuals (46 men; age 46 ± 13 years) with a type 1 ECG of BrS and previous history of VF.

Results: ER was observed persistently (in all ECGs) in 15 patients (31%; P group), intermittently (in at least one but not in all ECGs) in 16 patients (33%; I group), and not observed in 18 patients (37%; N group), yielding an overall ER incidence of 63% (31/49). During the follow-up period (7.7 years), recurrence of VF was documented in all 15 patients (100%) in the P group, and less in 12 patients (75%) in the I group and in 8 patients (44%) in the N group. The P group showed a worse prognosis than N group (P = .0001) by Kaplan-Meier analysis. Either persistent or intermittent ER in an inferolateral lead was an independent predictor of fatal arrhythmic events (hazard ratio 4.88, 95% confidence interval 2.02-12.7, P = .0004; and hazard ratio 2.50, 95% confidence interval 1.03-6.43, P = .043, respectively).

Conclusion: The prevalence of ER in inferolateral leads was high and an especially persistent form of ER was associated with a worse outcome in BrS patients with documented VF.

Keywords: BrS; Brugada syndrome; ECG; ER; Early repolarization; ICD; IVF; Idiopathic ventricular fibrillation; J wave; PES; RV; SCD; Sudden death; VF; early repolarization; electrocardiogram; idiopathic ventricular fibrillation; implantable cardioverter-defibrillator; programmed electrical stimulation; right ventricle; sudden cardiac death; ventricular fibrillation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brugada Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Death, Sudden
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Conduction System / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / physiopathology*
  • Young Adult