General Anesthesia Attenuates Brugada Syndrome Phenotype Expression: Clinical Implications From a Prospective Clinical Trial

JACC Clin Electrophysiol. 2018 Apr;4(4):518-530. doi: 10.1016/j.jacep.2017.11.013. Epub 2018 Feb 13.


Objectives: This study investigates the electrocardiographic-electrophysiological effects of administration of anesthetic drugs for general anesthesia (GA) in patients with BrS at high risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD).

Background: The safety of anesthetic agents in Brugada syndrome (BrS) is under debate.

Methods: All consecutive patients with spontaneous type 1 BrS electrocardiographic (ECG) patterns undergoing epicardial ablation of the arrhythmogenic substrate (AS) under GA were enrolled. Anesthesia was induced with single bolus of propofol and maintained with sevofluorane. ECG measurements were collected before, immediately after, and 20 min after induction of GA. Three-dimensional maps during GA and after ajmaline indicated the epicardial AS before ablation.

Results: Thirty-six patients with BrS (32 male, 88.9%; mean age 38.8 ± 12.0 years) with a spontaneous type 1 ECG pattern underwent GA. Induction was performed using propofol at mean dose of 1.6 to 2.6 mg/kg (2.1 ± 0.3 mg/kg). Twenty-eight (28 of 36, 77.8%) patients showed a reversion to a nondiagnostic pattern. ST-segment elevation (0.32 ± 0.01 mV vs. 0.19 ± 0.02 mV; p < 0.001) and J-wave amplitude (0.47 ± 0.02 mV vs. 0.31 ± 0.03 mV; p < 0.001) decreased after propofol. The AS area during GA, in the absence of BrS pattern, significantly enlarged after administration of ajmaline (3.6 ± 0.5 cm2 vs. 20.3 ± 0.8 cm2). No patient developed malignant arrhythmias during GA induction and maintenance.

Conclusions: This study shows that GA using single-bolus propofol and volatile anesthetics is safe in high-risk patients with BrS, and it may exert a modulating effect by reducing the manifestation of type 1 BrS pattern and AS in the form of epicardial abnormal ECGs. (Epicardial Ablation in Brugada Syndrome: An Extension Study of 200 BrS Patients; NCT03106701).

Keywords: Brugada syndrome; general anesthesia; propofol; type 1 Brugada pattern.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthesia, General*
  • Anesthetics, General / administration & dosage
  • Anesthetics, General / pharmacology*
  • Brugada Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Electrocardiography / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Propofol / administration & dosage
  • Propofol / pharmacology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sevoflurane / administration & dosage
  • Sevoflurane / pharmacology


  • Anesthetics, General
  • Sevoflurane
  • Propofol

Associated data