What is Brugada Syndrome?
Brugada syndrome is an arrhythmia condition that occurs in the heart’s lower chambers (ventricles) causing an irregular heartbeat. This abnormality is referred to as ventricular arrhythmia and causes the heart to beat too fast, resulting in poor circulation to the rest of the body, most importantly the brain. When this happens, complications like stroke, heart failure, and sudden cardiac death can occur. The condition might also explain sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), resulting in the unexplained death of infants during sleep.
What Causes Brugada Syndrome?
Brugada syndrome is caused by a genetic mutation, typically the gene responsible for making the sodium channel that transports sodium atoms to the heart muscle cells. This flow of sodium atoms plays a critical role in regulating the rhythm of the heart, so a mutation in this gene can result in an altered structure and function of the heart. Brugada syndrome is characterized by this irregularity in the heart’s rhythm. In other cases of Brugada syndrome where a gene mutation is not detected, the exact cause of the condition is often unknown. Certain factors like medications, high blood pressure, depression, and abnormally low or high levels of calcium, have all been associated with Brugada syndrome.
What are the Symptoms of Brugada Syndrome?
Brugada syndrome often presents no noticeable side effects, making the condition difficult to diagnose. It is important to remember that it’s possible to have a sign of Brugada syndrome without actually having it. However, some of the most common side effects of Brugada syndrome include:
- Syncope (fainting)
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeats (palpitations)
- Extremely fast heart rate
The symptoms of Brugada syndrome can mimic other heart arrhythmias and cardiac conditions, so it’s important to receive an accurate diagnosis first in order to determine the exact cause of your symptoms.
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How is Brugada Syndrome Treated?
Brugada syndrome is typically detected on an electrocardiogram (ECG). Using an ECG, Dr. Beshai can visualize the heart’s electrical system and detect abnormalities in the heart’s rhythm. Dr. Beshai might also suggest an electrophysiology (EP) test. An EP test is minimally invasive, using a catheter to thread electrodes to the heart and detect where the abnormal activity is coming from.
Brugada syndrome is managed based on the symptoms reported and their severity. Medication is typically not used to manage Brugada syndrome, and instead, Dr. Beshai will recommend a medical device called an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). An ICD is a small device that attaches to the heart, monitoring its electrical system. The ICD will shock the heart in order to maintain its regular rhythm and prevent complications like heart failure.
Scheduling Your Brugada Syndrome Treatment Appointment
Dr. Beshai offers diagnostic tools and treatment procedures in order to Brugada syndrome and prevent complications. If you experience symptoms of Brugada syndrome or have a family history of the condition, contact our office and schedule your appointment at the Heart Rhythm Institute of Arizona.
The Heart Institute of Arizona has a wide array of services that come with our premium care. From in-office dianostics and treatable conditions, to hospital based procedures, we’ve got your heart covered.