Clinical approach to syncope in children

Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2013 Mar;20(1):12-7. doi: 10.1016/j.spen.2012.12.003.


Pediatric syncope is one of the most common neurological problems in the pediatric population in both the office setting and in the emergency department. The abrupt brief loss of consciousness is usually dramatic and alarming to patients, family, onlookers, and providers. The differential diagnosis of syncope is wide but most cases are benign. A comprehensive but focused history and a thorough clinical examination are usually the cornerstones in the diagnosis of high-risk patients. It should be noted that the evaluation of syncope in children is costly and testing provides a low diagnostic yield. This chapter reviews the various types of syncope and provides a succinct clinical approach to the diagnosis, investigation, and management of syncope in children.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Pediatrics*
  • Syncope / classification
  • Syncope / diagnosis*
  • Syncope / epidemiology
  • Syncope / etiology
  • Syncope / therapy*