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Syncope

from Greek: syn- - together; koptein - beat
Synonym: blackout, collapse, circulatory collapse, fainting
German: Synkope

1 Definition

A syncope, also called collapse, is a short, spontaneous reversible loss of consciousness following a disturbed perfusion of the brain. It is accompanied by a loss of posture control.

ICD10-Code: R55

2 Classification

Syncopes are classified according to different criteria in literature. The classification chosen here only represents one possibility.

2.1 Vascular syncopes

2.2 Cardiac syncopes

2.3 Neurogenic syncopes

Neurogenic syncopes are also called vasovagal syncopes or reflex syncopes. These include:

2.4 Medicinally-induced syncopes

2.5 Psychogenic syncopes

2.6 Syncopes of unknown cause

Syncopes of unknown cause comprise all syncopes that cannot be clearly classified.

3 Differential diagnosis

The loss of consciousness due to other causes needs to be differentiated from perfusion-caused syncopes, such as

Clinically, these differential diagnoses are just difficult to differentiate from the "real" syncopes. Therefore, you usually need further diagnostics.

4 Symptoms

The exact process of a syncope can differ greatly from individual to individual. In many cases, a syncope announces itself by the corresponding warning signs (prodromes) in advance. The most common symptoms include:

In some cases, unconsciousness is accompanied by myocloni

4.1 Prodromes

A syncope can be followed by confusion, palpitations, and sometimes incontinence. When the patient falls to the floor due to the syncope, it often causes fall injuries.

5 Medical history

Medical history plays a decisive role in the diagnostics of syncopes. You should clarify especially the following points:

  • Circumstances of the syncope
  • Health background
    • Presence of heart disease?
    • Metabolic disorders?
    • Previous neurological disease?
    • Drugs?

Taking the medical history of a patient can be supplemented by score systems such as the Calgary syncope score. When the statements of the patient are insufficient, taking the medical history by third party plays an important role.

6 Diagnostics

Due to the sporadic and passing character of syncopes, diagnostics often is difficult to obtain. The examination methods used include, among others:

7 Therapy

Therapy depends on the trigger cause.

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