Syncope: How Should It Be Evaluated Today?
Syncope is defined as a sudden transient loss of consciousness and postural tone that spontaneously resolves without electrical or chemical cardioversion. Clinical assessment is usually sufficient to separate syncope from other states of altered consciousness such as dizziness, vertigo, seizure, coma and narcolepsy. Syncope is a common problem in all age groups. In the U.S. it accounts for approximately 1% of hospital admissions and 3% of emergency room visits. Syncope is common in young adults (12%–48% of healthy young adults report loss of consciousness) although most do not seek medical attention. In one study of elderly, people over age 75 years had an annual incidence of 6%; 23% had previous lifetime syncopal episodes.
KeywordsStructural Heart Disease Tilt Testing Vasovagal Syncope Transient Ischemic Attack Unexplained Syncope
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