Early repolarization in children with unexplained syncope

Research output: Contribution to journalPublished meeting abstract


Introduction: It has traditionally been believed that early repolarization (ER) is benign. Significant association between ER and sudden cardiac arrest due to idiopathic ventricular fibrillation was recently found in a large cohort of adult survivors of sudden cardiac arrest. In some prior studies, unexplained syncope has been linked to risk of sudden death, but the mechanisms remain speculative.We assessed herein the prevalence of ER in children referred to our center for unexplained syncope. Methods: We evaluated retrospectively electrocardiograms from such children (n = 29; mean age, 12.1 years; range, 7-18 years) for presence of ER, which was defined as an elevation of the QRS-ST junction (J-point) in at least 2 leads of at least 1 mm (0.1 mV) above the baseline level. The anterior precordial leads (V1-V3) were excluded from the analysis to avoid inclusion of patients with right ventricular dysplasia or Brugada syndrome. Agematched children (n = 33; mean age, 12.3 years; range, 7-16 years) with noncardiac chest pain were included as controls. Results: Early repolarization was detected in 45% (13/29) of children with unexplained syncope vs 24% (8/33) in the chest pain group. Among children with syncope, ER was far more frequent in males than in females (8/12 vs 5/ 17, respectively). Echocardiography showed normal functional and structural findings in all children. Conclusion: In this relatively small-scale retrospective study of children with unexplained syncope with otherwise normal cardiac findings, we found particularly among those of male gender a greater prevalence of ER than in controls (noncardiac chest pain).With view to earlier findings of Haisaguerre et al (NEJM 2008), this intriguing association warrants further prospective studies addressing its precise clinical implication and underlying mechanisms.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • Pediatrics


  • child, faintness, repolarization, acute leukemia, male, prevalence, noncardiac chest pain, heart arrest, adult, survivor, risk, sudden death, electrocardiogram, patient, Brugada syndrome, thorax pain, female, echocardiography, retrospective study, gender, prospective study, heart ventricle fibrillation, heart right ventricle dysplasia
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e10
JournalJournal of Electrocardiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch