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J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2006 Jun;17(6):602-7.

The full stomach test as a novel diagnostic technique for identifying patients at risk of Brugada syndrome.

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  • 1Second Department of Internal Medicine, Kyorin University School of Medicine, Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan. iket@kyorin-u.ac.jp



Autonomic modulation, particularly high vagal tone, plays an important role in the occurrence of ventricular tachyarrhythmias in the Brugada syndrome. Food intake modulates vagal activity. We assessed the usefulness of a novel diagnostic technique, the "full stomach test," for identifying a high-risk group in patients with a Brugada-type electrocardiogram (ECG).


In 35 patients with a Brugada-type ECG, we assessed 12-lead ECGs before and after a large meal, a pilsicainide pharmacological test, spontaneous ST-segment change, late potentials by signal-averaged ECG, microvolt T-wave alternans, and four other ECG parameters. These patients were divided into two groups (i.e., high-risk group [n = 17] and indeterminate risk group [n = 18]). The full stomach test was defined as positive when augmentation of characteristic ECG abnormalities was observed after meals. Thirteen patients had a prior history of life-threatening events such as aborted sudden death and syncope, with a total of 30 episodes. These episodes had a circadian pattern, at night and after meals. The full stomach test was positive in 17 of the study patients (49%). A positive test outcome was characterized by a higher incidence of a history of life-threatening events than a negative test outcome (P = 0.015, odds ratio = 7.1). In comparison between the two groups, the incidence (82%) of positive outcomes in the high-risk group was significantly higher than that (17%) in the indeterminate risk group (P = 0.0002).


Characteristic ECG changes diagnostic of Brugada syndrome are augmented by a large meal. These data are associated with a history of life-threatening events in Brugada syndrome.

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