OBJECTIVES: Brugada syndrome (BrS) has been originally considered to occur in structural normal hearts. However recent pathological and imaging data suggest that structural and functional changes may be present in this syndrome. This study was designed to elucidate whether any macroscopic heart abnormality is detectable in patients with BrS. For this purpose we used cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR).
METHODS: Twenty-nine patients displaying the BrS type-1 ECG pattern and 29 healthy controls underwent CMR (1.5 Tesla). Left (LV) and right ventricular (RV) dimensions, function and regional contractility were evaluated. Late-gadolinium-enhancement (LGE) imaging was obtained in 24 patients.
RESULTS: We found found in the RV inferior wall. None of the patients showed LGE. No differences were detected between controls and the different subgroups of BrS patients according to symptoms, family history and spontaneous type-1 ECG pattern.
CONCLUSIONS: BrS patients do not differ from normal subjects with regard to dimensions and global function of both LV and RV. BrS patients may show RV-WMA, however similar changes are also present in healthy subjects and may therefore represent a physiological behaviour of RV. The lack of LGE further confirms the absence of myocardial structural damage. Our results indicate that BrS seems to occur in individuals with structurally and functionally normal heart.