Clinical Autonomic Research

, Volume 14, Supplement 1, pp i4–i8 | Cite as

Defining and classifying syncope

  • Roland D. Thijs
  • Wouter Wieling
  • Horacio Kaufmann
  • Gert van Dijk


There is no widely adopted definition or classification of syncope and related disorders. This lack of uniformity harms patient care, research, and medical education. In this article, syncope is defined as a form of transient loss of consciousness (TLOC) due to cerebral hypoperfusion. Differences between syncope and other causes of TLOC such as epilepsy, and disorders mimicking TLOC are described. A pathophysiological classification of syncope is proposed.

Key words

syncope terminology definition transient loss of consciousness 


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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roland D. Thijs
    • 1
  • Wouter Wieling
    • 2
  • Horacio Kaufmann
    • 3
  • Gert van Dijk
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Neurology & Clinical NeurophysiologyLeiden University Medical CentreRC LeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Dept. of Internal MedicineAcademic Medical CentreAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Dept. of NeurologyMount Sinai School of MedicineNew York (NY)USA

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