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Syncope in Children.

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Presentation on theme: "Syncope in Children."— Presentation transcript:

1 Syncope in Children

2 Objectives Understand the term syncope
Differentiate the serious causes of syncope from those that are benign Know the appropriate testing needed in the evaluation of syncope based upon the presenting history

3 Syncope = syn(short) + kope (to cut)
Definitions to Know Palpitations - sensation of strong, rapid, or irregular heart beats Syncope – transient loss of consciousness and postural tone due to generalized cerebral ischemia with rapid and spontaneous recovery Presyncope - no complete loss of consciousness occurs Syncope = syn(short) + kope (to cut)

4 Syncope in children Affects 15% of children between 8-18
Uncommon under age 7 therefore think about: Seizure disorders Breath holding Primary cardiac dysrhythmias Cardiovascular causes unusual but life-threatening anatomic abnormalities congenital malformations valvular disease electrical abnormalities

5 Syncope in children Vasovagal Events
32% to 50% of cases Decreased PVR Decreased venous return Decreased cardiac output Hypotension Bradycardia In teens – think about pregnancy and drugs of abuse

6 Syncope: Key questions to address with initial evaluation
Is the loss of consciousness attributable to syncope or not? Is heart disease present or absent? Are there important clinical features in the history that suggest the diagnosis?

7 Syncope Mimics Disorders without impairment of consciousness
Falls Drop attacks Cataplexy Psychogenic pseudo-syncope Transient ischemic attacks Disorders with loss of consciousness Metabolic disorders Epilepsy Intoxications Vertebrobasilar transient ischemic attacks

8 Differential Diagnosis of Syncope: Seizures vs Hypotension
Observation Seizure Inadequate Perfusion Onset Sudden More gradual Duration Minutes Seconds Jerks Frequent Rare Headache Frequent (after) Occasional (before) Confusion after Incontinence Eye deviation Horizontal Vertical (or none) Tongue biting Prodrome Aura Dizziness EEG Often abnormal Usually normal

9 Unexplained Causes = Approximately 1/3
Causes of True Syncope Neurally- Mediated Orthostatic Cardiac Arrhythmia Structural Cardio- Pulmonary 1 Vasovagal Carotid Sinus • Situational Cough Post- Micturition 2 Drug-Induced • Autonomic Nervous System Failure Primary Secondary 3 Brady SN Dysfunction AV Block • Tachy VT SVT Long QT Syndrome 4 Acute Myocardial Ischemia Aortic Stenosis HCM Pulmonary Hypertension Aortic Dissection Unexplained Causes = Approximately 1/3

10 Likely Causes In Children
Vasovagal Situational Psychiatric Long QT* WPW syndrome RV dysplasia Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy Catecholaminergic VT Other genetic syndromes

11 Syncope: Key questions to address with initial evaluation
Is the loss of consciousness attributable to syncope or not? Is heart disease present or absent? Are there important clinical features in the history that suggest the diagnosis?

12 Syncope: Important Historical Features
Questions about circumstances just prior to attack Position (supine, sitting , standing) Activity (rest, change in posture, during or immediately after exercise, during or immediately after urination, defecation or swallowing) Predisposing factors (crowded or warm place, prolonged standing post-prandial period) and of precipitating events (fear, intense pain, neck movements) Questions about onset of the attack Nausea, vomiting, feeling cold, sweating, pain in chest

13 Syncope: Important Historical Features
Questions about attack (eye witness) Skin color (pallor, cyanotic) Duration of loss of consciousness Movements ( tonic-clonic, etc.) Tongue biting Questions about the end of the attack Nausea, vomiting, diaphoresis, feeling cold, muscle aches, confusion, skin color, wounds

14 Syncope: Important Historical Feature
Questions about background Number and duration of syncope spells Family history of arrhythmic disease or sudden death Presence of cardiac disease Neurological disease Medications (Hypotensive, negative chronotropic and antidepressant agents)

15 Clinical Features Suggesting Specific Cause of Syncope
Neurally-Mediated Syncope Absence of cardiac disease Long history of syncope After sudden unexpected, unpleasant sensation Prolonged standing in crowded, hot places Nausea vomiting associated with syncope During or after a meal With head rotation or pressure on carotid sinus After exertion

16 Clinical Features Suggesting Specific Cause of Syncope
Syncope due to orthostatic hypotension After standing up Temporal relationship to taking a medication that can cause hypotension Prolonged standing Presence of autonomic neuropathy After exertion

17 Clinical Features Suggestion Cause of Syncope
Cardiac Syncope Presence of structural heart disease With exertion or supine Preceded by palpitations Family history of sudden death

18 Initial Exam: Thorough Physical
Vital signs Heart rate Orthostatic blood pressure change Cardiovascular exam: Is heart disease present? ECG: Long QT, pre-excitation, conduction system disease Echo: LV function, valve status, HCM Neurological exam HCM—Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Brignole M, Alboni P, Benditt D, et al. Guidelines on management (diagnosis and treatment) of syncope—Update Europace. 2004;6:

19 Orthostatic Measurements
Classically, abnormal if systolic BP decreases by more than 20 points and/or pulse increases in pulse rate of more than 20 beats per minute after a change from supine to standing If there is only a pulse increase but no drop in blood pressure, the test is less significant.

20 Diagnostic Objectives
Distinguish true syncope from syncope mimics Determine presence of heart disease and risk for sudden death Establish the cause of syncope with sufficient certainty to: Assess prognosis confidently Initiate effective preventive treatment

21 “…cardiac syncope can be a harbinger of sudden death.”
Survival with and without syncope (adults and children) 6-month mortality rate of greater than 10% Cardiac syncope doubled the risk of death Includes cardiac arrhythmias No Syncope Vasovagal/other Cardiac Cause Follow-Up (yr) Probability of Survival 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 Soteriades ES, et al. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:878.

22 Electrocardiogram yield for specific diagnosis low (5%)
risk free and relatively inexpensive abnormalities (BBB, previous MI, nonsustained VT) guide further evaluation recommended in almost all patients

23 Laboratory Tests Routine use not recommended
Maybe glucose? Should be done only if specifically suggested by H&P Pregnancy testing should be considered in women of child-bearing age

24 Neurologic Testing EEG - not useful unless seizures
Brain imaging - not useful unless focality Neurovascular studies no studies may be useful if bruits, or hx suggests vertebrobasilar insufficiency

25 Final Words of Wisdom -Is it Syncope?-
History is key!!!! Orthostatics take the time to do them correctly Cardiac vs Non-cardiac If you are not confident that it is NOT cardiac  REFER ECG Use it if you got ‘em!

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