Brugada and Fevers

Most of us know that a fever is used to to help diagnose Brugada. Many people who are symptom free may all of a sudden have symptoms and an abnormal EKG while they have a fever. That is because heat in the form of your core body temp can alter your heart rhythm. Many people found out they had Brugada when they were sick with a fever. When a doctor suspects that you MAY have Brugada they also want you to get an EKG when you have a fever. If there is a change to your EKG with fever it helps them diagnose you and find your risk. But what if you already have Brugada? Should fevers be a concern? ABSOLUTELY!! It may be used as a diagnostic tool but it doesn’t change the fact that even if you already know you have Brugada, a fever can change your rhythm and may cause Vtach or Vfib. That may not always happen but its best to be prepared. If you have Brugada and your getting sick, treat the fever non stop. It may land you in the hospital if you don’t. I had a fever from strep throat and it didn’t make my heart go out of control terribly but it aggravated it enough that I had to call m EP and take Cardizem, a calcium channel blocker, while fevered to keep the palpitations at bay and keep my heart rate down. So always be aware of sickness and ANYTHING that can raise your temp. Even being out on a hot beach, doing yard work,etc can aggravate your heart.

 

I do want to mention an episode my 4 year old had. She is positive genetically for Brugada. She is asymptomatic and all her tests are normal. Brugada generally gets worse with age so this is no surprise that for now everything is normal. Just because your safe in childhood doesn’t mean you will be safe in adulthood. But her EP, although she knows she already had Brugada, still wants an EKG with fever. I was confused thinking that was only a diagnostic tool to see if you have it. But thats not the case. Even if you have it they want to know your risk. She had a fever and off to the hospital we went. She had an EKG that indeed showed minor signs of Brugada!! Otherwise her EKG is normal. This is proof further that Brugada CAN cause symptoms in her and is reason for the EP to watch her even closer. 

So my dear readers, please use a fever to your benefit, whether waiting for a diagnosis, already have it or assessing risk. And either way, no matter what category you are in, treat the fever right away. Once its reduced the symptoms go away. Make sure you always get an EKG with fever UNMEDICATED to see how your heart truly reacts 🙂

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