Front Physiol 2013 15;4:179. Epub 2013 Jul 15.
The Danish National Research Foundation Centre for Cardiac Arrhythmia Copenhagen, Denmark ; Department of Cardiology, Laboratory for Molecular Cardiology, The Heart Centre, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen Copenhagen, Denmark.
Brugada syndrome (BrS) is a clinical entity first described in 1992. BrS is characterized by ST-segment elevations in the right precordial leads and susceptibility to ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. It affects young subjects, predominantly males, with structurally normal hearts. The prevalence varies with ethnicity ranging from 1:2,000 to 1:100,000 in different parts of the world. Today, hundreds of variants in 17 genes have been associated with BrS of which mutations in SCN5A, coding for the cardiac voltage-gated sodium channel, accounts for the vast majority. Despite this, approximately 70% of BrS cases cannot be explained genetically with the current knowledge. Moreover, the monogenic role of some of the variants previously described as being associated with BrS has been questioned by their occurrence in about 4% (1:23) of the general population as found in NHLBI GO Exome Sequencing Project (ESP) currently including approximately 6500 individuals. If we add the variants described in the five newest identified genes associated with BrS, they appear at an even higher prevalence in the ESP (1:21). The current standard treatment of BrS is an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). The risk stratification and indications for ICD treatment are based on the ECG and on the clinical and family history. In this review we discuss the genetic basis of BrS.