Significance of electrocardiogram recording in high intercostal spaces in patients with early repolarization syndrome

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Abstract

Aims

Published reports regarding inferolateral early repolarization (ER) syndrome (ERS) before 2013 possibly included patients with Brugada-pattern electrocardiogram (BrP-ECG) recorded only in the high intercostal spaces (HICS). We investigated the significance of HICS ECG recording in ERS patients.

Methods and results

Fifty-six patients showing inferolateral ER in the standard ECG and spontaneous ventricular fibrillation (VF) not linked to structural heart disease underwent drug provocation tests by sodium channel blockade with right precordial ECG (V1–V3) recording in the 2nd–4th intercostal spaces. The prevalence and long-term outcome of ERS patients with and without BrP-ECG in HICS were investigated. After 18 patients showing type 1 BrP-ECG in the standard ECG were excluded, 38 patients (34 males, mean age; 40.4 ± 13.6 years) were classified into four groups [group A (n = 6;16%):patients with ER and type 1 BrP-ECG only in HICS, group B (n = 5;13%):ERS with non-type 1 BrP-ECG only in HICS, group C (n = 8;21%):ERS with non-type 1 BrP-ECG in the standard ECG, and group D (n = 19;50%):ERS only, spontaneously or after drug provocation test]. During follow-up of 110.0 ± 55.4 months, the rate of VF recurrence including electrical storm was significantly higher in groups A (4/6:67%), B (4/5:80%), and C (4/8:50%) compared with D (2/19:11%) (A, B, and C vs. D, P < 0.05).

Conclusions

Approximately 30% of the patients with ERS who had been diagnosed with the previous criteria showed BrP-ECG only in HICS. Ventricular fibrillation mostly recurred in patients showing BrP-ECG in any precordial lead including HICS; these comprised 50% of the ERS cohort.

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