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Brugada Syndrome Manifesting Only During Fever in Patient with Septic Shock Secondary to Post-Obstructive Pneumonia

Kristopher S. Pfirman, Corey A. White, Abiy Kelil, Hemant C. Modi

(Department of Cardiology Fellowship, Bowling Green Medical Center, Bowling Green, KY, USA)

Am J Case Rep 2018; 19:1311-1316

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.911236

BACKGROUND: Brugada syndrome is a cardiac disorder associated with sudden death due to sodium channelopathy, most commonly the SCN5a mutation. There are 3 different patterns of electrocardiogram (ECG) changes characterized as type I, II, and III. ECG patterns consist of variations of incomplete RBBB and ST elevation in anterior precordial leads only. Treatment, if warranted, consists of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.
CASE REPORT: A 63-year-old male presented with abdominal pain for 4 days that was persistent, and after further imaging, he was found to have hepatic metastases from a stage IV small cell carcinoma of the lung. The patient was started on chemotherapy with carboplatin and VP-16. The patient decompensated, developed septic shock secondary to post-obstructive pneumonia, and eventually required intubation. He became tachycardic, and an ECG was ordered to evaluate the heart rhythm. It was determined that the patient had Brugada wave/syndrome. The patient’s condition deteriorated with worsening septic shock, suspected type II NSTEMI, and multiorgan failure. The patient was designated DNR (“do not resuscitate”) and passed away.
CONCLUSIONS: This case represents how channelopathies can be provoked with fever. It is believed that this occurs due to denaturing of the ion channel leading to abnormal ST segment changes typically seen on ECG and an increased risk of developing lethal arrhythmias. Spontaneous presentation of nondrug-induced Brugada syndrome carries an increased risk of deadly arrhythmia, for which this patient would have required electrophysiological studies. Unfortunately, this patient was unable to undergo genetic testing or electrophysiological studies, as he passed away.

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