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The World in Medicine
March 11, 1998

Why Do Kids Faint?

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JAMA. 1998;279(10):739. doi:10.1001/jama.279.10.739-JWM80000-6-1

Adding capnography that measures carbon dioxide in expired air to standard tilt-table testing may help physicians make more thorough diagnoses of syncope in pediatric patients.

In a new study, researchers at Bnai Zion Medical Center and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, have described 65 children and adolescents assessed for syncope in the medical center's emergency department using routine methods and the capnography test.

The researchers said that taking a history of the fainting spell led to a diagnosis in 40% of the patients, and the capnography test established a diagnosis in 49% of patients. Taking a history and using the test provided diagnoses in 66% of patients. Various laboratory tests, including electrocardiography and electroencephalography, did not indicate a cause for fainting in any of the patients, the researchers noted.