The value of the clinical history in the differentiation of syncope due to ventricular tachycardia, atrioventricular block, and neurocardiogenic syncope

Hugh Calkins, Yu Shyr, Howard Frumin, Anthony Schork, Fred Morady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

background: The present study was undertaken to identify and quantitate the symptoms associated with neurocardiogenic syncope, syncope due to ventricular tachycardia, and syncope resulting from atrioventricular Mock. patients and methods: Eighty patients referred for evaluation of syncope in whom a diagnosis of neurocardiogenic syncope, atrioventricular block, or ventricular tachycardia was established were studied. Each paient was interviewed using a standard questionnaire. The clinical histories were then compared to identify which variables best differentiated the cause of syncope. results: The clinical histories of patients with syncope due to ventricular tachycardia and atrioventricular block were similar. Only age, the duration of prodromal symptoms, diaphoresis prior to syncope, and fatigue following syncope differed. In contrast, the clinical history in patients with neurocardiogenic syncope differed greatly from that obtained in patients with syncope due to atrioventricular block or ventricular tachycardia. Features of the clinical history that were predictive of syncope due to atrioventricular block or ventricular tachycardia were male sex, age >54 years, ≤ 2 episodes of syncope, and a duration of warning of ≤5 seconds. Features of the clinical history predictive of syncope not due to ventricular tachycardia or atrioventricular block were palpitations, blurred vision, nausea, warmth, diaphoresis, or lightheadedness prior to syncope, and nausea, warmth, diaphoresis, or fatigue following syncope. conclusions: The results of this study identify and compare the features of the clinical history obtained in patients with syncope due to ventricular tachycardia, atrioventricular block, and neurocardiogenic syncope and demonstrate that the clinical history is of value in distinguishing patients with these three causes of syncope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-373
Number of pages9
JournalThe American journal of medicine
Volume98
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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