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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2010 December;58(6):701-15

language: English

Evaluation and management of syncope

Veltmann C. 1, Borggrefe M. 1, Wolpert C. 2, Schimpf R.1

1 Unit of Cardiology, First Department of Medicine, University Medical Centre Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany
2 Unit of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Klinikum Ludwigsburg,Ludwigsburg, Germany


Syncope is a common symptom and accounts for approximately 1% of all emergency visits. There are four main causes of syncope: reflex, neurally mediated syncope, orthostatic hypotension and cardiac syncope. The prognosis of patients with reflex syncopes is good, whereas patients with cardiac syncope are at increased risk for sudden cardiac death. The first diagnosic step after transient loss of consciousness the diagnosis syncope has to be established. It has to be differentiated from other forms of loss of consciousness according to current definition. Careful evaluation of the patient with syncope is mandatory. If the underlying cause of syncope can be diagnosed during initial evaluation, the patient should be treated accordingly. If the cause of syncope remains unclear, the patient has to be stratified with respect to the risk of a cardiovascular event and sudden cardiac death and further evaluation initiated. This review gives a comprehensive summary of definition, work-up and treatment of syncope based on the current guidelines for the evaluation of syncope.

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