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May 7, 2003

Is There an Effective Treatment for Neurally Mediated Syncope?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.

JAMA. 2003;289(17):2272-2275. doi:10.1001/jama.289.17.2272

During the past 20 years, a great deal has been learned about the evaluation, management, and prognosis of syncope. Studies from the 1980s showed that for approximately half of patients with syncope, the cause could not be established using diagnostic tests widely available at the time.1 Studies of risk stratification showed that the most important predictor of a poor outcome was underlying structural heart disease, including abnormalities detected on electrocardiogram.2,3 These findings prompted investigators to devise new diagnostic tests and to propose alternative strategies for managing syncope.