Syncope due to Brugada syndrome in a young athlete

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A 30-year-old male athlete with exercise-related syncopal symptoms spontaneously exhibited a type 1 Brugada ECG and was inducible during electrophysiology study. He was diagnosed with symptomatic Brugada syndrome and deemed at high risk of sudden cardiac death. Thus, he received a cardioverter/defibrillator and was advised to abstain from further competitive sports activities. This case points to a role of the ECG in pre-participation screening. It also demonstrates that, in athletes with Brugada syndrome, repolarisation anomalies may be markedly attenuated during vigorous exercise and considerably increased immediately after exercise. The observed J-wave amplitude dynamics suggests enhancement of pre-existing autonomic dysfunction through heavy exertion.

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