Emergency Radiology

, Volume 12, Issue 1–2, pp 44–46 | Cite as

Syncope and head CT scans in the emergency department

  • Pierre Giglio
  • Edward M. Bednarczyk
  • Karen Weiss
  • Rohit Bakshi
Original Article



Patients presenting with syncope to the emergency department (ED) of a community hospital were evaluated.


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.


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.


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.


Syncope CT scan Emergency department 


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Copyright information

© Am Soc Emergency Radiol 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Giglio
    • 1
    • 2
  • Edward M. Bednarczyk
    • 1
  • Karen Weiss
    • 3
  • Rohit Bakshi
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyState University of New York at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.University of Nebraska Medical CenterOmahaUSA
  3. 3.Boston UniversityBostonUSA
  4. 4.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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