BACKGROUND: The relationship between the typical electrocardiographic pattern and electromechanical abnormalities has never been systematically explored in Brugada syndrome (BrS).
OBJECTIVES: The aims of this study were to characterize the electromechanical substrate in patients with BrS and to evaluate the relationship between electrical and mechanical abnormalities.
METHODS: We enrolled 50 consecutive high-risk patients with BrS (mean age 42 ± 7.2 years), with implantable cardioverter-defibrillator implantation for primary or secondary prevention of ventricular tachyarrhythmias (ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation [VT/VF]), undergoing substrate mapping and ablation. Patients underwent 3-dimensional (3D) echocardiography with 3D wall motion/deformation quantification and electroanatomic mapping before and after ajmaline administration (1 mg/kg in 5 minutes); 3D mechanical changes were compared with 50 age- and sex-matched controls. The effect of substrate ablation on electromechanical abnormalities was also assessed.
RESULTS: In all patients, ajmaline administration induced Brugada type 1 pattern, with a significant increase in the electrical substrate (P < .001), particularly in patients with previous spontaneous VT/VF (P = .007). Induction of Brugada pattern was associated with lowering of right ventricular (RV) ejection fraction (P < .001) and worsening of 3D RV mechanical function (P < .001), particularly in the anterior free wall of the RV outflow tract, without changes in controls. RV electrical and mechanical abnormalities were highly correlated (r = 0.728, P < .001). By multivariate analysis, only the area of RV dysfunction was an independent predictor of spontaneous VT/VF (odds ratio 1.480; 95% confidence interval 1.159-1.889; P = .002). Substrate ablation abolished both BrS-electrocardiographic pattern and mechanical abnormalities, despite ajmaline rechallenge.
CONCLUSION: BrS is an electromechanical disease affecting the RV. The typical BrS pattern reflects an extensive RV arrhythmic substrate, driving consistent RV mechanical abnormalities. Substrate ablation abolished both Brugada pattern and mechanical abnormalities.