Brugada syndrome is a heart rhythm disorder. Each beat of your heart is triggered by an electrical impulse generated by special cells in the right upper chamber of your heart. Tiny pores, called channels, on each of these cells direct this electrical activity, which makes your heart beat. In Brugada syndrome, a defect in these channels can cause your heart to beat abnormally.

During these episodes, your heart doesn't pump effectively. As a result, not enough blood travels to the rest of your body. This can cause fainting or sudden cardiac death.

Brugada syndrome is usually inherited, but it may also result from a hard-to-detect structural abnormality in your heart, imbalances in chemicals that help transmit electrical signals through your body (electrolytes), or the effects of certain prescription medications or cocaine use.

Brugada syndrome usually is diagnosed in adults and, sometimes, in adolescents. It's rarely diagnosed in young children.

May. 25, 2011