Syncope is defined as a sudden transient loss of consciousness associated with loss of postural tone from which the patient recovers spontaneously. Syncope has a large differential diagnosis ranging from common benign problems to severe life-threatening disorders. As a result, the approach to this symptom frequently results in hospital admission and performance of many diagnostic tests. Although evaluation is often focused on explaining the symptom by a single disease process, this may not apply to the elderly since multiple physiologic processes and age-related changes may contribute to syncope.1 This chapter briefly reviews the pathophysiology and etiologies of syncope and provides a practical and directed evaluation of syncope in the elderly.
KeywordsAortic Stenosis Orthostatic Hypotension Multiple System Atrophy Carotid Sinus Tilt Testing
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Kapoor WN. Syncope in older persons. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1994; 42: 426–436.Google Scholar
- 12.Hoefnagels WAJ, Padberg GW, Overweg J, et al. Syncope or seizure? The diagnostic value of the EEG and hyperventilation test in transient loss of consciousness. J Neurol. 1991; 54: 953–956.Google Scholar
- 15.Kapoor WN, Hammill SC, Gersh BJ. Diagnosis and natural history of syncope and the role of invasive electrophysiologic testing. Am J Cardiol. 1989; 63: 730734.Google Scholar
- 18.Bass EB, Elson JJ, Fogoros RN, et al. Long-term prognosis of patients undergoing electrophysiologic studies for syncope of unknown origin. Am J Cardiol. 1988; 62: 1186 1191.Google Scholar
- 23.Bannister SR, ed. Autonomic Failure. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 1988: 8.Google Scholar