Bradycardia, renal failure, atrioventricular nodal blockade, shock and hyperkalemia (BRASH) syndrome: A clinical case study


Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center


BRASH syndrome, which stands for Bradycardia, Renal failure, Atrioventricular (AV) Nodal blockade, and shock, is a relatively new clinical condition. Bradycardia develops because of the synergistic effect of AV-nodal blockers and hyperkalemia in a renal failure resulting in a vicious cycle of progressive bradycardia, renal hypoperfusion, and hyperkalemia. We present a case of an 88-year-old man with chronic systolic heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stage 3 chronic kidney disease, and dementia who presented to our emergency department with poor oral intake and weakness. He was found to have symptomatic bradycardia in the 30s secondary to hyperkalemia and beta-blockers in the setting of acute renal failure from dehydration, raising concern for BRASH syndrome. Treatment of each component conservatively resulted in complete resolution without the need for aggressive measures such as dialysis or pacing. This case report also discusses the pathophysiology, management, and the need for recognizing this underdiagnosed and novel clinical condition.



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