Definition

syncope

The temporary loss of consciousness and posture,commonly called fainting. Syncope is common and can arise from numerous causes ranging from standing too long, which allows BLOOD to pool in the legs, to ARRHYTHMIA and TRANSIENT ISCHEMIC ATTACK (TIA), which interrupt the flow of blood to the BRAIN.

About 10 percent of syncope episodes are the result of cardiovascular events such as arrhythmias, MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION, MICROINFARCTIONHYPOTENSION, and TIA.

Any episode in a person who has a history of HEART ATTACKSTROKEARRHYTHMIA, or other known CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE (CVD) requires immediate medical evaluation.

Causes

Other causes of syncope include neurologic events (such as vasovagal response), medication side effects, heat, DEHYDRATION, fear, FEVER, and PREGNANCY. Most people regain consciousness within a few seconds to three minutes. Syncope may be an isolated event or a symptom of underlying health concerns. A doctor should evaluate recurrent episodes. Such an evaluation typically includes a NEUROLOGIC EXAMINATION and an ELECTROCARDIOGRAM (ECG).

See also ADVERSE REACTION; CRANIAL NERVES; GASTROPARESIS; SEIZURE DISORDERS; UNCONSCIOUSNESS.

Syncope and Definition and Causes
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