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Hypothetical “anatomy” of Brugada phenomenon: “long QT sine long QT” syndrome implicating morphologically undefined specific “Brugada’s myocells”

Abstract. The Brugada syndrome (BrS) is associated with increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. It generates genetically mediated arrhythmias posing a true pathophysiological challenge. In search of the similarities between BrS and long QT syndrome some novel insights are suggested. In patients with BrS the duration of QT interval is usually normal. Some investigators have found prolonged QT interval in the syndrome’s natural course or the duration of QT segment have been extended by provocative tests unmasking BrS. Thus, BrS might be characterized as “long QT sine long QT” syndrome. The existence of two functional types of myocites is suspected. Regarding structure and function the majority of ventricular myocardium is probably mostly healthy. The rest of myocardium (preferably the subepicardium of right ventricular outflow tract) due to its genotypic peculiarities demonstrates no negative influence on ventricular performance until early adulthood is reached and/or other unstable preconditions are fulfilled (nocturnal time, fever, specific drugs, etc.). Based on published findings of positive outcomes, following the epicardial ablation of the right ventricular outflow tract region, a new hypothetical concept suggesting the presence of specific, genetically affected “Brugada’s myocells” is proposed. These cells as a suitable arrhythmogenic substrate reside intramurally within the subepicardial region of the outflow tract of right ventricle. In the daytime these cells likely are dormant but at rest their nocturnal proarrhythmic behavior is activated occasionally. Presumptions regarding the pathophysiology of BrS might be the focus of further discussion.

Credits: Petras Stirbys

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