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Syncope 

Syncope
Chapter:
Syncope
Author(s):

Andrew J. Larner

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0578
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date: 02 March 2021

Syncope is the most common identified cause of transient loss of consciousness, being ten times more frequent than epilepsy. It is a consequence of cerebral hypoperfusion due to reduced cardiac output, often related to reduced venous return due to decreased peripheral vascular resistance with pooling of blood volume in dependent body parts. Diagnosis is clinical, based on history of the circumstances of the event obtained from the patient and reliable eyewitness(es). In most patients, particularly under 45 years of age, the condition is benign and self-limiting, with an excellent prognosis, requiring little investigation beyond physical examination and electrocardiogram to exclude heart disease. Cardiac causes of syncope may require specific treatment.

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