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JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Evaluation and management of syncope

C Veltmann, M Borggrefe, C Wolpert, R Schimpf
Minerva Cardioangiologica 2010, 58 (6): 701-15
21135810
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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