Ajmaline provocation test


An ajmaline challenge is a diagnostic procedure to detect Brugada syndrome, a rare but serious electrical heart disorder

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What is Brugada syndrome?

Brugada syndrome is an inherited cardiac condition that can cause an abnormally fast heart rhythm and can be fatal.

If you have a family history of the condition, your GP or consultant is likely to suggest an ajmaline challenge to confirm the diagnosis.

Need to know

Ajmaline is a drug that causes changes in an electrocardiogram (ECG) in patients with the Brugada syndrome. You'll be asked to lie on a bed while several sensors are attached to your chest, wrists and ankles using small sticky pads. These sensors are connected to the ECG machine, which records the rate and rhythm of your heart.

A small needle (cannula) will be inserted into a vein in your arm or hand, which allows you to be given an injection of ajmaline. Your ECG will then be recorded every few minutes to look for any changes. The test takes around 30 minutes.

Your consultant physiologist will explain the test to you and answer any questions you may have. You would normally be asked not to eat anything for six hours beforehand. Like all procedures, there may be some risks or side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.

You'll be able to go home after a short period of cardiac monitoring. It's relatively common to experience a metallic taste in your mouth or have slightly blurred vision during the test, but this should go away quickly as the drug wears off.

Your consultant physiologist will discuss your results with you and let you know about any next steps, including further tests if needed. If a diagnosis of Brugada is confirmed, they'll speak to you about treatment options.

Our Ajmaline provocation test locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
London Bridge Hospital

London Bridge Hospital

27 Tooley Street SE1 2PR London
The Wellington Hospital

The Wellington Hospital

8A Wellington Place NW8 9LE London