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Brugada Syndrome

Brugada syndrome is a rare genetic heart disorder that causes an irregular heart beat, which can be life threatening.

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What Is Brugada Syndrome?

Brugada syndrome is an inherited heart disorder that causes an irregular heart rhythm, which can be dangerous.

Brugada syndrome causes, risk factors, and complications

Brugada syndrome occurs in about 1 of 2,000 people.

Changes or mutation is specific genes causes the disease. One generation can pass on these gene changes to the next.

People at higher risk of Brugada syndrome are those who have a family history of:

  • Brugada syndrome
  • Sudden death

Brugada syndrome can cause fainting spells and, in more severe cases, sudden death.

Brugada Syndrome Symptoms and Diagnosis

Many people don't have symptoms. For people who do show signs, an irregular heartbeat is the most common.

Other signs and symptoms of Brugada syndrome are:

  • Dizziness.
  • Fainting.
  • Feelings of a fluttering or pounding heart.
  • A fast, chaotic heartbeat.
  • Seizures.

Diagnosing Brugada syndrome

Your doctor may look for Brugada syndrome if you have symptoms or a first-degree relative with the condition.

To diagnose Brugada syndrome, your doctor will do a physical exam.

They may also order certain tests — such as an EKG or electrophysiology test — to check your heart function.

Because Brugada syndrome is an inherited disorder, your doctor may also suggest genetic testing.

Before the test, you'll talk to a genetic counselor who will explain the risks and benefits of testing. They'll also tell you about any limits in interpreting the results.

If you carry a genetic mutation for Brugada syndrome, there's a risk that you may pass the gene along to your children. Doctors may suggest that your parents, siblings, and children also have testing.

Brugada Syndrome Treatment

Treatments can help prevent life-threatening complications. You'll need routine follow up with your doctor to manage your condition.

Brugada syndrome treatment options depend on your symptoms and risk factors.

They include:

  • Medicine. Some drugs can help prevent a dangerous heart rhythm.
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). This device checks your heart for abnormal rhythms. It sends a shock to keep your heart beating normally.

Why Choose UPMC for Brugada Syndrome?

The Center for Inherited Heart Disease at UPMC:

  • Takes a complete, family-based approach to caring for people with Brugada syndrome.
  • Has a team of expert heart doctors, children's heart specialists, genetic counselors, surgeons, and others.
  • Helps you get answers, whether you have symptoms or suspect Brugada syndrome from genetic test results.