Vascular Causes of Syncope: An Emergency Medicine Review.

Link to article at PubMed

Vascular Causes of Syncope: An Emergency Medicine Review.

J Emerg Med. 2017 Jun 26;:

Authors: Long B, Koyfman A

BACKGROUND: Syncope is a common emergency department (ED) complaint, accounting for 2% of visits annually. A wide variety of etiologies can result in syncope, and vascular causes may be deadly.
OBJECTIVE: This review evaluates vascular causes of syncope and their evaluation and management in the ED.
DISCUSSION: Syncope is defined by a brief loss of consciousness with loss of postural tone and complete, spontaneous recovery without medical intervention. Causes include cardiac, vasovagal, orthostatic, neurologic, medication-related, and idiopathic, and most cases of syncope will not receive a specific diagnosis pertaining to the cause. Emergency physicians are most concerned with life-threatening causes such as dysrhythmia and obstruction, and electrocardiogram is a primary means of evaluation. However, vascular etiologies can result in patient morbidity and mortality. These conditions include pulmonary embolism, subclavian steal, aortic dissection, cerebrovascular disease, intracerebral hemorrhage, carotid/vertebral dissection, and abdominal aortic aneurysm. A focused history and physical examination can assist emergency physicians in determining the need for further testing and management.
CONCLUSIONS: Syncope is common and may be the result of a deadly condition. The emergency physician, through history and physical examination, can determine the need for further evaluation and resuscitation of these patients, with consideration of vascular etiologies of syncope.

PMID: 28662832 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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