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Syncope

  • Margaret J. StrieperEmail author
  • Robert Campbell
  • William A. Scott

Abstract

Syncope, defined as the temporary loss of consciousness and postural tone resulting from an abrupt, transient decrease in cerebral blood flow, has emerged over the last decade as one of the most common reasons for a pediatric cardiology referral. Other widely used synonyms are vasovagal syncope or “simple fainting.” Although many individuals will experience syncope at least once during their lifetime (estimated 30 % lifetime risk), it is usually self-limited and benign. Rarely, it may be the first warning sign of a serious condition including arrhythmia, structural heart disease, or noncardiac disease. Patients with recurrent syncopal episodes, syncope during exercise, emotion/stress-induced syncope, syncope resulting in injury, syncope in the driving-age pediatric patient, syncope in those with a family history of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or a channelopathy, or syncope in patients with congenital heart disease require investigation. Recurrent syncope may cause a major impact on lifestyle, interfering with school and/or sports. Many states impose driving restrictions following syncope. This chapter presents a differential diagnosis of syncope in children, outlines in detail neurocardiogenic or neurally mediated syncope (NCS, NMS), and reviews different evaluation and treatment strategies.

Keywords

Syncope Consciousness Postural Temporary Cerebral Flow Blood 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret J. Strieper
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert Campbell
    • 1
  • William A. Scott
    • 2
  1. 1.Sibley Heart Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Department of PediatricsEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUT Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA

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