Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Aside from a typical physical examination and listening to your heart with a stethoscope, tests to see if you have Brugada syndrome include:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) with medication. In this noninvasive test, a technician places probes on your chest that record the electrical impulses that make your heart beat. An ECG records these electrical signals and can help your doctor detect irregularities in your heart's rhythm and structure.

    However, because your heart rhythm can change, an electrocardiogram by itself may not detect an abnormal heart rhythm. Your doctor may give you a medication that causes an abnormal heart rhythm in people who have Brugada syndrome. The medication is usually injected by an intravenous (IV) line.

  • Electrophysiology (EP) test. If your ECG suggests that you have Brugada syndrome, your doctor may also recommend an EP test to pinpoint where in your heart your arrhythmia occurs and to check the severity of your condition.

    In an EP test, a catheter is threaded through a vein in your groin to your heart, similar to cardiac catheterization. Electrodes are then passed through the catheter to different points in your heart. The electrodes then map out any irregular heartbeats. The electrodes don't shock your heart — they just detect the electrical signals running through your heart.

  • Genetic testing. While genetic testing isn't required to diagnose Brugada syndrome, your doctor may recommend genetic testing for other family members if you're diagnosed with Brugada syndrome.
May. 25, 2011