Brugada syndrome is a rare serious heart disorder which can cause sudden cardiac arrest due to abnormal rhythm of heart. The disorder usually does not have any obvious or visible manifestation. It is only from abnormal cardiogram reading, a person may be detected to be suffering from brugada syndrome.
This abnormal heartbeat on cardiogram is also called brugada sign. Usually the condition is inherited. This means there is risk of suffering from brugada disorder if anyone in the family has history of this disorder. It is often observed in young males. Many people remain undiagnosed throughout their life, and some people die suddenly in young age from cardiac arrest even though the heart condition is found to be apparently good.
When detected, the treatment consists of implanting a medical device called automatic cardiac defibrillator.
What Is The Cause Of Brugada Syndrome?
Brugada syndrome is primarily a rhythm disorder of heart. Any abnormality in rhythm of heart beats in medical term is called arrhythmia. Heart is made up of muscles. It is divided in four chambers, two upper called atrium and 2 lower called ventricles. Heartbeat occurs when the muscles of heart contract. With each contraction the blood is pushed out from the chambers and reaches throughout the body.
Heart chambers contract because of an electrical impulse created by nodes at the junction of atrium and ventricle.When this electrical impulse becomes erratic due to abnormal cellular activity of AV node, heartbeats become abnormal. As a result the body parts do not receive sufficient amount of blood and person may faint or suffer from sudden cardiac arrest.
Primarily a hereditary condition, it may also occur due to undetectable abnormality in structure of heart tissues. Abnormality in electrolytes mainly responsible for transmission of electrical signals, and certain medications or use of cocaine is also suspected to produce this condition.
This defect is called Brugada syndrome because the condition was diagnosed by a Spanish cardiologist Pedro Brugada. Usually the condition is present in young males more than females. Many cases are observed to be hereditary. The condition is found more in people of Southeast Asia.
Symptoms And Diagnosis Of Brugada Syndrome
In many people Brugada syndrome remain unrecognized due to lack of proper symptoms. The two clinical symptoms noted are syncope and cardiac arrest. Syncope is fainting. Often people suffering from this disorder may experience nightmares.
Irregular heartbeats and palpitation may be seen in people with this disorder. However, there are many other heart related abnormalities having erratic heartbeats and palpitation, the differential diagnosis is possible only with the help to electrocardiogram (ECG).
A characteristic abnormal pattern of ECG is observed when a person is suffering from Brugada syndrome. These patients have a family history of sudden cardiac arrest, especially in sleep or when at rest. Rarely an episode occurs during physical activity. No other abnormality is found during the physical examination.
Brugada Syndrome Treatment
The reliable treatment for Brugada syndrome is implanting a cardiac defibrillator. It is a devise which acts in the same way as pacemaker. Once implanted in the heart it recognizes the abnormal heartbeat, and when the beats become life threatening, this automatic devise sends electrical shock waves to bring back cardiac rhythm.
Thus its constant monitoring and acting when necessary helps to prevent sudden cardiac arrest in patients suffering from Brugada syndrome. However, it is necessary to know that the devise does not prevent arrhythmia, but can prevent the event of cardiac arrest once such arrhythmia develops.