Background: Electrical storms (ESs) in patients with Brugada syndrome (BrS) are rare though potentially lethal.
Methods and results: We studied 22 men with BrS and ES, defined as ≥3 episodes/d of ventricular fibrillation (VF) and compared their characteristics with those of 110 age-matched, control men with BrS without ES. BrS was diagnosed by a spontaneous or drug-induced type 1 pattern on the ECG in the absence of structural heart disease. Early repolarization (ER) was diagnosed by J waves, ie, >0.1 mV notches or slurs of the terminal portion of the QRS complex. The BrS ECG pattern was provoked with pilsicainide. A spontaneous type I ECG pattern, J waves, and horizontal/descending ST elevation were found, respectively, in 77%, 36%, and 88% of patients with ES, versus 28% (P<0.0001), 9% (P=0.003), and 60% (P=0.06) of controls. The J-wave amplitude was significantly higher in patients with than without ES (P=0.03). VF occurred during undisturbed sinus rhythm in 14 of 19 patients (74%), and ES were controlled by isoproterenol administration. All patients with ES received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator and over a 6.0±5.4 years follow-up, the prognosis of patients with ES was significantly worse than that of patients without ES. Bepridil was effective in preventing VF in 6 patients.
Conclusions: A high prevalence of ER was found in a subgroup of patients with BrS associated with ES. ES appeared to be suppressed by isoproterenol or quinidine, whereas bepridil and quinidine were effective in the long-term prevention of VF in the highest-risk patients.
Keywords: Brugada syndrome; bepridil; electrocardiography; isoproterenol; ventricular fibrillation.
© 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.