A rare case of Brugada syndrome induced by hyperglycemia

Brandon W. Knopp, Bailey Pierce, Vishnu Muppala, Jonathan Rosman, Jeniel Parmar


Brugada syndrome is a rare genetic disorder of the cardiac sodium channels associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac death.  It is characterized by an electrocardiogram (EKG) showing a right bundle branch block with an elevation in the ST segment. This condition is associated with mutations in several pathologic genes including the most notable mutation in the SCN5A gene, which encodes for a voltage-gated cardiac sodium channel. The Brugada pattern on EKG can be spontaneous but can also be induced by a variety of etiologies including fever, electrolyte abnormalities, increased vagal tone and drugs such as sodium channel blockers, calcium channel blockers, tricyclic antidepressants and alcohol. One uncommon cause of Brugada syndrome is hyperglycemia. Of particular importance in diabetic patients, hyperglycemia can induce chronic cardiovascular complications as well as acute cardiac events via the induction of the Brugada pattern on EKG. We present a case of a 21-year-old non-insulin compliant diabetic man presenting to the Emergency Department with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) who exhibits the Brugada pattern EKG prior to developing ventricular tachycardia followed by cardiac arrest. The patient’s condition was induced by prolonged hyperglycemia in the setting of DKA with relatively mild electrolyte and pH abnormalities. Herein, this case is presented to highlight the Brugada pattern leading to cardiac arrest as a potential consequence of hyperglycemia and inform physicians on its incidence.


Brugada syndrome; sudden cardiac death; hyperglycemia

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22551/2021.31.0802.10181

Copyright (c) 2021 Brandon W. Knopp, Bailey Pierce, Vishnu Muppala, Jonathan Rosman, Jeniel Parmar

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ISSN: 2360-6975