Background: Fever is known to unmask the Brugada pattern on the electrocardiogram (ECG) and trigger ventricular arrhythmias in patients with Brugada syndrome. Genetic studies in selected cases with fever-induced Brugada pattern have identified disease-causing mutations. Thus, "fever-induced Brugada" is a recognized clinical entity. However, its prevalence has not been systematically evaluated.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of Brugada pattern in consecutive patients with fever.
Methods: ECGs of patients with fever admitted to the emergency department were evaluated for the presence of Brugada pattern and compared with ECGs of consecutive nonfebrile patients.
Results: ECGs of 402 patients with fever and 909 without were evaluated. Type I Brugada pattern was 20 times more common in the febrile group than in the afebrile group (2% vs. 0.1%, respectively, P = .0001). All patients with fever-induced type I Brugada pattern were asymptomatic and remained so during 30 months of follow-up.
Conclusion: Type I Brugada pattern is definitively more common among patients with fever, suggesting that asymptomatic Brugada syndrome is more prevalent than previously estimated.
Keywords: AIDS; Brugada syndrome; ECG; Fever; Ventricular fibrillation; acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; electrocardiogram.
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