Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub,
MD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Although syncope resulting from
laughter has been described in a patient with extensive underlying arteriovascular
disease,1 we are unaware of any published reports
of laugh syncope in an apparently healthy person.
At 4 PM on a March day, a 32-year-old, previously healthy
barber was standing and cutting a client’s hair. The client related
a funny story, upon which the barber broke out into a very strong, sustained,
loud, and unrestrained laughing fit during which, according to observers,
he “blacked out” and fell to the floor. Although he sustained
interscapular bruising and minor trauma to the right shoulder, he exhibited
no seizure activity and no bladder or bowel incontinence. He regained consciousness
within a few seconds, was completely oriented, had no apparent neurological
deficit, and immediately resumed his work. He had been working on his feet
throughout the day, but this was customary for him and he had never had a
syncopal or near-syncopal episode before. The temperature at the time had
been mild. The timing of his most recent meal was not recorded. The patient
did not reveal the content of the story.
Bloomfield D, Jazrawi S. Shear Hilarity Leading to Laugh Syncope in a Healthy Man. JAMA. 2005;293(23):2859-2864. doi:10.1001/jama.293.23.2863-b