Context: Patients presenting with syncope to the emergency department (ED) of a community hospital were evaluated.
Aim: The objective of this study is to examine the use and results of head computerized tomography (CT) scans in patients presenting with syncope to the ED of a community hospital.
Settings and design: A retrospective chart review of patients presenting with syncope to the emergency room was conducted.
Methods and materials: We reviewed the charts of patients who presented to the ED over a 6-month period with syncope. When performed, head CT scan findings were noted, and their relationship to the clinical presentation was examined.
Results: One hundred twenty-eight patients were identified. Forty-four patients had their head CT scans performed. In 1 patient, the CT scan showed evidence of infarction in the posterior circulation. In 19 patients, the head CT scan was normal. Twenty-four patients had abnormal findings unrelated to the ED presentation.
Conclusions: Head CT scans were commonly used in our series of syncope patients. Abnormal findings pertinent to the syncope were observed in only 1 patient. A prospective study examining yield in a larger series of patients may help define the utility of this neuroimaging modality in syncope.