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J Formos Med Assoc. 2011 Apr;110(4):230-8. doi: 10.1016/S0929-6646(11)60035-1.

Brugada-type electrocardiogram in the Taiwanese population--is it a risk factor for sudden death?

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Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.



People receive electrocardiogram (ECG) examination for various reasons in a hospital setting. An important clinical practice issue may be that cardiologists need to be consulted for Brugada-type ECGs identified through routine screening. We investigated the prevalence and prognosis of patients with Brugada-type ECG in a hospital-based population in an attempt to improve the management of these patients.


In 20,562 patients seeking medical care for non-cardiovascular reasons, 74,955 ECGs were performed from December 1999 to February 2001. The diagnostic criteria for Brugada-like ECG from the European Society of Cardiology were used. International Statistical Classification of Diseases codes and city residents' records were documented to indicate the reasons for visiting clinics or hospitalization and mortality outcome. Medical records were reviewed and telephone interviews were conducted.


Twenty-six (0.13%) of the 20,562 patients were confirmed to have Brugada-type ECGs. None of these patients had ever experienced syncope, near syncope or sudden cardiac death. After 57.1 ± 15.8 months of follow-up, there were four deaths out of the 26 patients with Brugada-type ECG (15.4%, 95% CI: 1.53-2.9%) compared with 2899 of those without (14.1%, 95% CI: 13.6-14.5%; p=0.89, log-rank test). Neither sudden cardiac death (p=0.61) nor hospitalized death (p=0.55) was different between patients with and without Brugada-type ECG.


Patients with Brugada-type ECGs are not rare in a hospital-based population. The presence of Brugada-type ECGs in patients without syncope or sudden cardiac death was not associated with hospitalized mortality.

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