Background: A 90-year-old woman presented to a hospital emergency department with a brief loss of consciousness that was heralded by spinning vertigo lasting approximately 2 min. She had a long history of intermittent brief episodes of rotatory vertigo, presyncope, and non-vertiginous dizziness, occurring either with or without loss of consciousness. Although initially attributed to symptomatic carotid artery stenosis, these episodes persisted, despite surgical restoration of carotid artery blood flow 1 year after her first syncope. Her medical history was otherwise notable for hypertension, mild depression and a gradual decline in gait and balance function attributed to left hip arthritis and older age. Investigations: Bedside history and examination, non-contrast head CT scan, electrocardiogram, transthoracic echocardiogram, and bedside cardiac telemetry. Diagnosis: Sick sinus syndrome or severe reflex bradycardia with asystole causing recurrent, episodic vertigo, presyncope, non-vertiginous dizziness and syncope (Stokes-Adams attacks). Management: Placement of a temporary pacing wire, followed by surgical implantation of a single-chamber ventricular (VVI) pacemaker.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience