The investigation of syncope

Seizure. 2004 Dec;13(8):537-48. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2003.12.011.


Patients with syncope are usually referred to either neurology or cardiology clinics, yet the facilities for detailed syncope investigation are mostly in cardiac units. The diagnosis rests principally upon the history, but investigations may be required to support the clinical diagnosis. Close collaboration between the epilepsy clinician and a cardiologist is essential for effective investigation and safe management of syncope. It is frequently misdiagnosed and often erroneously treated as epilepsy. Furthermore, it is potentially a marker of sudden death when associated with certain cardiac disorders. Here we review the main syncope types and explore diagnostic approaches.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Hyperventilation / diagnosis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Panic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Physical Examination
  • Syncope* / classification
  • Syncope* / diagnosis
  • Syncope* / prevention & control
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed