In Brugada syndrome, a defect in these channels can cause your heart to beat abnormally and spin electrically out of control in an abnormally fast and dangerous rhythm (ventricular fibrillation).
As a result, your heart doesn’t pump effectively and not enough blood travels to the rest of your body. This will cause fainting if that rhythm lasts for only a short time or sudden cardiac death if the heart remains in that bad rhythm.
Brugada syndrome is often inherited, but it may also result from a hard-to-detect structural abnormality in your heart, imbalances in chemicals that help transmit electrical signals through your body (electrolytes), or the effects of certain prescription medications or cocaine use.
Brugada syndrome usually is diagnosed in adults and, sometimes, in adolescents. It’s rarely diagnosed in young children.
- Fainting (syncope)
- Irregular heartbeats or palpitations
- Extremely fast and chaotic heartbeat (sudden cardiac arrest)
- Brugada syndrome signs and symptoms are similar to some other heart rhythm problems, so it’s essential that you see your doctor to find out if Brugada syndrome or another heart rhythm problem is causing your symptoms.
- If you have heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), make an appointment to see your doctor. Your problem could be caused by a heart rhythm problem, but tests can determine if the underlying cause of your heart problem is Brugada syndrome.
- If you faint and you suspect it may be because of a heart condition, seek emergency medical attention.
- If your parent, sibling or child has been diagnosed with Brugada syndrome, you may want to make an appointment with your doctor. He or she can discuss whether you should have genetic testing to see if you’re at risk of Brugada syndrome.