Brugada Syndrome: New Insights From Cardiac Magnetic Resonance and Electroanatomical Imaging

Carlo Pappone, Vincenzo Santinelli, Valerio Mecarocci, Lara Tondi, Giuseppe Ciconte, Francesco Manguso, Francesco Sturla, Gabriele Vicedomini, Emanuele Micaglio, Luigi Anastasia, Silvia Pica, Antonia Camporeale, Massimo Lombardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Brugada syndrome (BrS) is considered a purely electrical disease with variable electrical substrates. Variable rates of mechanical abnormalities have been also reported. Whether exists a link between electrical and mechanical abnormalities has never been previously explored. This investigational physiopathological study aimed to determine the relationship between the substrate size/location, as exposed by ajmaline provocation, and the severity of mechanical abnormalities, as assessed by cardiac magnetic resonance in patients with BrS. METHODS: Twenty-four consecutive high-risk patients with BrS (mean age, 38±11 years, 17 males), presenting with malignant syncope and documented polymorphic ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation, and candidate to implantable cardioverter defibrillator implantation, underwent cardiac magnetic resonance and electroanatomic maps. During each examination, ajmaline test (1 mg/kg over 5 minutes) was performed. Cardiac magnetic resonance findings were compared with 24 age, sex, and body surface area-matched controls. In patients with BrS, the correlation between the electrical substrate extent and right ventricular regional mechanical abnormalities before/after ajmaline challenge was analyzed. RESULTS: After ajmaline, patients with BrS showed a reduction of right ventricular (RV) ejection fraction (P<0.001), associated with decreased transversal displacement (U, P<0.001) and longitudinal strain (ε, P<0.001) localized at RV outflow tract. In patients with BrS significant preajmaline/postajmaline changes of transversal displacement (ΔU, P<0.001) and longitudinal strain (Δε, P<0.001) were found. In the control group, no mechanical changes were observed after ajmaline. The electrical substrate consistently increased after ajmaline from 1.7±2.8 cm2 to 14.2±7.3 cm2 (P<0.001), extending from the RV outflow tract to the neighboring segments of the RV anterior wall. Postajmaline RV ejection fraction inversely correlated with postajmaline substrate extent (r=-0.830, P<0.001). In patients with BrS and normal controls, cardiac magnetic resonance detected neither myocardial fibrosis nor RV outflow tract morphological abnormalities. CONCLUSIONS: BrS is a dynamic RV electromechanical disease, where functional abnormalities correlate with the maximal extent of the substrate size. These findings open new lights on the physiopathology of the disease. Registration: URL:; Unique identifier: NCT03524079.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e010004
JournalCirculation. Arrhythmia and electrophysiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2021


  • ajmaline
  • Brugada syndrome
  • death
  • disease
  • syncope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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