Psychogenic Syncope: How Frequent Is It?

  • R Giada
  • A. Raviele
  • I. Silvestri
  • P. G. Nicotera
  • A. Rossillo
  • G. Leandro
  • C. Ravenna
Conference paper


A high prevalence of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, and somatization disorders has been reported in patients with syncope of unknown origin [1–3]. Psychiatric disturbances are most frequently encountered in young female patients with a history of numerous syncopal episodes. Although it is well known that vasovagal syncope may be triggered by mental and emotional stress, data on the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in patients with vasovagal syncope, and on their quality of life, are somewhat scant and incomplete [4,5].


Vasovagal Syncope Syncopic Episode Unexplained Syncope Somatization Disorder Paroxetine Hydrochloride 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Kapoor WN, Fortunato M, Hanusa BH, Shulberg HC (1995) Psychiatric illnesses in patients with syncope. Am J Med 99:505–512PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Linzer M, Felder A, Hackel A et al (1990) Psychiatric syncope: a new look at on old disease. Psychosomatics 31:181–188PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Koenig D, Linzer M, Pontinen M, Divine GW (1992) Syncope in young adults: evidence for combined medical and psychiatric approach. J Intern Med 232:169–176PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Linzer M, Pontinen M, Gold DT et al (1991) Impairment of physical and psychosocial function in recurrent syncope. J Clin Epidemiol 44:1037–1043PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Linzer M, Gold DT, Pontinen M et al (1994) Recurrent syncope as a chronic disease: preliminary validation of a disease-specific measure of functional impairment. J Gen Intern Med 9:181–185PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bartoletti A, Alboni P, Ammirati F et al (2000) Tilt test potenziato con nitroglicerina orale nei pazienti con sincope inspiegata: “II protocollo italiano”. Ital Heart J 1:226–231Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hathaway SR, McKinley JC (1995) MMPI-2 Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory — 2 Manual. Italian adaptation by Pancheri P, Sirigatti S. OS, Organizzazioni Speciali, FlorenceGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Butcher JN, Williams CL (1996) Fondamenti per l’interpretazione del MMPI-2 e del MMPI-A. OS, Organizzazioni Speciali, FlorenceGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edn (DSM-IV). American Psychiatric Association, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ware JE, Sherbourne CD (1992) The RAND 36 Short-Form Health Survey: I. Conceptual framework and item selection. Med Care 30:473–481PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    McHorney CA, Ware JE, Raczek AE (1993) The MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36): II. Psychometric and clinical tests of validity in measuring physical and mental health constructs. Med Care 31:247–263PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kessler RC (1994) Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders in the United States: results from the National Comorbidity Survey. Arch Gen Psychiatry 51:8–19PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kouakam C, Lacroix D, Baux P et al (1996) Anxiety neurosis and unexplained syncope of presumed vaso-vagal origin. Arch Mal Coeur 89:1247–1254PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Cohen TJ, Thayapran N, Ibrahim B et al (2000) An association between anxiety and neurocardiogenic syncope during head-up tilt table testing. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 23:837–841PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rose MS, Koshman ML, Spreng S, Sheldon R (2000) The relationship between health-related quality of life and frequency of spells in patients with syncope. J Clin Epidemiol 53:1209–1216PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sheldon R, Koshman ML, Wilson W et al (1998) Effect of dual-chamber pacing with automatic rate-drop sensing on recurrent neurally mediated syncope. Am J Cardiol 81:158–162PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Schmidt RT (1975) Personality and fainting. J Psychosom Res 19:21–25PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Sledge WH (1978) Antecedent psychological factors in the onset of vasovagal syncope. Psychosom Med 40:568–579PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sheldon R, Rose S, Flanagan P et al (1996) Risk factors for syncope recurrence after a positive tilt-table test in patients with syncope. Circulation 93:973–981PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Di Girolamo E, Di lorio C, Sabatini P et al (1999) Effects of paroxetine hydrochloride, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, on refractory vasovagal syncope: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Am Coll Cardiol 33:1227–1230PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kapoor WN, Fortunato M, Hanusa B, Schulberg HC (1998) Psychiatric disorders in patients with syncope. In: Grubb BP, and Olshansky B (eds): Syncope: mechanisms and management. Futura, Armonk, NY, pp 253–263Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • R Giada
    • 1
  • A. Raviele
    • 1
  • I. Silvestri
    • 2
  • P. G. Nicotera
    • 2
  • A. Rossillo
    • 1
  • G. Leandro
    • 1
  • C. Ravenna
    • 2
  1. 1.Cardiovasculary DepartmentDivision of CardiologyMestre-VeniceItaly
  2. 2.Division of NeurologyUmberto I HospitalMestre-VeniceItaly

Personalised recommendations