OBJECTIVES: We sought to demonstrate the mode of spontaneous onset of ventricular fibrillation (VF) in patients with Brugada syndrome. BACKGROUND: The electrophysiologic mechanisms of VF in Brugada syndrome have not been fully investigated. METHODS: Nineteen patients (all male, mean age 47 ± 12 years) with Brugada syndrome were treated with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). The implanted devices were capable of storing electrograms during an arrhythmic event. We investigated the mode of spontaneous onset of VF according to the electrocardiographic features during the episode of VF, which were obtained from stored electrograms of ICDs and/or electrocardiographic (ECG) monitoring. RESULTS During a follow-up of 34.7 ± 19.4 months (range 14 to 81 months), 46 episodes of spontaneous VF attacks were documented in 7/19 (37%) patients. The event-free period between ICD implantation and the first spontaneous occurrence of VF was 14.6 ± 12.1 months (range 3.7 to 27.4 months). We investigated 33/46 episodes of VF, for which electrocardiographic features (10 to 20 s before and during VF) were obtained from ICDs and/or ECG monitoring in five patients. A total of 22/33 episodes of VF were preceded by premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), which were almost identical to the initiating PVCs of VF. Furthermore, in three patients who had multiple VF episodes, VF attacks were always initiated by the same respective PVC. The coupling interval of the initiating PVCs of VF was 388 ± 28 ms. CONCLUSIONS: Spontaneous episodes of VF in patients with Brugada syndrome were triggered by specific PVCs. These findings may provide important insights into the pathophysiological mechanisms causing VF in Brugada syndrome. (C) 2000 by the American College of Cardiology.
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