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Down for the Count! The Evaluation of Syncope Wyatt W. Decker, M.D. Department of Emergency Medicine Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical School.

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Presentation on theme: "Down for the Count! The Evaluation of Syncope Wyatt W. Decker, M.D. Department of Emergency Medicine Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Down for the Count! The Evaluation of Syncope Wyatt W. Decker, M.D. Department of Emergency Medicine Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical School

2 OUTLINE Case Epidemiology Signs and symptoms What data help to risk-stratify patients with syncope? Who should be admitted after a syncopal event?

3 Case Presentation 82-year-old male was found by son, unresponsive When ambulance arrived, his pulse was 70 and BP was 160/98

4 Case Presentation 82-Year-Old Male History: HTN on HCTZ Exam: Facial contusion, unable to move (L) wrist ECG: SR, LBBB, PVCs X-ray: (L) wrist fracture

5 Case Presentation 82-Year-Old Male What to do? 1) Holter as outpatient 2) Echo 3) Admit for EP studies 4) Admit for 23° monitoring

6 Case Presentation 82-Year-Old Male Risk Stratification 1) High risk for an adverse event 2) Moderate risk 3) Low risk

7 Case Presentation 82-Year-Old Male Question orthostatic blood pressure 1) Always check - very useful 2) Sometimes check - can be useful 3) Never check - is useless

8 SYNCOPE: Definition A transient loss of consciousness Spontaneous and full recovery Loss of postural tone No prolonged confusion

9 “Syncope and sudden death are the same, except that in one you wake up” - Anonymous

10 SYNCOPE: Epidemiology 6% hospital admits Up to 3% ED visits 12-40% of young adults 6% incidence in > 75 y/o

11 SYNCOPE: Natural History Kapoor: Medicine, 1990 10 20 30 40 50 60 012345012345 Year of follow-up % Cardiogenic Undetermined Noncardiac MortalitySudden Death

12 SYNCOPE: Etiology - Noncardiac Vasodepressor (1-29%) Situational (1-8%) Seizure Psychogenic Orthostatic (4-12%) Drug-induced (2-9%) Carotid sinus Neuralgia Neurologic (TIA, stroke, migraine)

13 SYNCOPE: Drug Induced B-blocker Nitrates CCB Ace I Phenothiazines; antidepressants Antiarrhythmics Diuretics Digoxin Insulin Drugs of abuse EtoH N = 70; Syncope Clinic 13% probable drug related

14 SYNCOPE: Etiology Cardiac Obstruction to flow (3-11%) – HOCM, AS, MS, myxoma – PS, PE, Pulm HTN – MI, tamponade, AD Arrhythmias (5-30%) –Sick sinus, AV block, pacer –VT, SVT

15 Age-Dependent Causes of Syncope Mayo Clinic: 1996-1998 (n=1,291) <65 years n=607  65 years n=684 13% 43% 3% 17% 24% 30% 23% 10% 18% 19% CardiogenicVasovagalCHSUndeterminedOther

16 SYNCOPE: Signs/Symptoms Age –Those less than 45 tend to do well –Those over 65 are higher risk –Ages in between are incremental –There is no age cutoff Kapoor, et al: NEJM 309;1983

17 SYNCOPE: Signs/Symptoms SZ vs. syncope – N = 94 – SZ = 41; No SZ = 53 Logistic Regression Analysis –SZ Diagnosis Frothing Tongue biting Disoriented < 45 y/o LOC > 50 min –Not a SZ Sweating, nausea prior and oriented after event > 45 y/o Hoefnagels, et al: J Neurology 238; 1991

18 SYNCOPE: Signs/Symptoms Tongue-biting –106 SZ patients vs. 45 syncope patients –Sensitivity 24%; specificity 99% Based on 8 patients with tongue-biting Benbadis, et al: Arch Int Med 155;1995

19 SYNCOPE: Signs/Symptoms FeatureDiagnosis - Postexertional - Structural heart disease - 2 minutes of standing - Orthostatic - No prodrome - Cardiac - Stress-related - Vasovagal - Situational - Micturition syncope

20 SYNCOPE: Signs/Symptoms CHF = poor outcome –N = 491; 12% with syncope –Cardiac syncope; 49% dead 1 year –Noncardiac syncope: 39% dead 1 year –No syncope; 12% dead 1 year –Risk factor for poor outcome in multiple studies Middlekauff, et al: JACC 21:1; 1993

21 SYNCOPE: Signs/Symptoms Generally defined as drop in systolic BP > 20 mmHg on standing Present in 40% patients > 70 years Present in up to 23% patients < 60 Reproduction of symptoms may be useful Proceed with Caution! Orthostatic hypotension

22 SYNCOPE: Diagnostic Testing ECG - diagnostic  2-12% Blood work - low yield, not helpful Only lab abnormalities found are those expected based on history/PE Holter monitoring Tilt table Electrophysiology studies Day, et al: Am J Med 73;1982.

23 SYNCOPE: Evaluation - ECG What to look for: – VT (3 or more beats) – Sinus pause (> 2 seconds) – Bradycardia with symptoms – SVT with symptoms or hypotension – AF slow vent response – 2° + 3° AV block – Pacemaker malfunction Martin, et al: Ann Emerg Med 29:4; 1997

24 Diagnostic Efficacy of 24 Hour Holter Monitoring for Syncope 1,512 patients Syncope/presyncope during monitoring (17%) Arrhythmia without symptoms(15%) Documented arrhythmia (2.1%) Gibson: AJC 53, 1984

25 Tilt Table Testing Positive yield (pseudo Specificity Repro- sensitivity (%) controls (%) duciblity (%) Passive tilt20-7580-9060-70 Isoproterenol40-8555-8065-90

26 Results of Electrophysiologic Testing in Patients with Syncope of Unknown Cause PatientAbnormal Reference (no.)EP (%) Sra et al 8634 DiMarco et al 2568 Gulamhusein et al 3418 Hess et al 3256 Akhtar et al 3053 Olshansky et al10537

27 SYNCOPE: The Dilemma Diagnostic challenge – Initial H&P, ECG non-diagnostic  30-60% ED patients Kapoor, et al: NEJM 1983;309:4

28 Discord in the Evaluation of Syncope NeurologistCardiologist

29 SYNCOPE: The Dilemma Disposition Challenge – Patients often asymptomatic in ED – Majority of causes benign – Concern of sudden death

30 SYNCOPE: Risk Stratification Identify low-risk patients who need minimal testing and have a low likelihood of an adverse event Identify high-risk patients in whom a more aggressive approach towards care is indicated

31 SYNCOPE: Risk Stratification Syncope patients in ED – Derivation N = 252 – Validation N = 374 – Data: History, PE, ECG – Outcome: Arrhythmias and mortality at 1 year Martin, et al: Ann Emerg Med 29;1997

32 SYNCOPE Risk Stratification Mortality at 1 Year Died within one year of syncopal episodeStrictly defined arrhythmias or died of a cardiac cause in the 1st year

33 SYNCOPE: Management Risk factors: > 45 years, ventricular arrhythmia, abnormal ECG, CHF Martin, et al –72° cardiac mortality; 0% with no risk factors –1 year mortality 57% with 3 –1 year mortality 80% with 4

34 ACEP Clinical Policy: Syncope 1.What data help risk stratify? Level B: Over 60 years = high risk CHF = high risk Under 45 years = low risk Level C: PE, c/w cardiac outflow obstruction = high risk Hx c/w vasodepressor etiology = low risk

35 ACEP Clinical Policy: Syncope Diagnostic testing Level B: Obtain 12-lead ECG when history, PE indeterminate

36 ACEP Clinical Policy: Who Should be Admitted Level B: Admit patients with syncope and any of the following: A history of CHF or ventricular arrhythmias Associated chest pain or other symptoms compatible with acute coronary syndrome Evidence of significant CHF or valvular heat disease on PE ECG findings of ischemia, arrhythmia, prolonged QT interval, or bundle branch block

37 ACEP Clinical Policy: Admission Level C: Consider admission for patients with syncope and any of the following: Age older than 60 years History of coronary artery disease or congenital heart disease Family history of unexpected sudden death Exertional syncope in younger patinets without an obvious benign etiology for the syncope

38 Syncope: Summary Etiology is often unclear Risk stratification is key Admit high risk patients –Intermediate risk? Low risk: Send out


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