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August 1956

Syncope: A Study of Its Relation to Cardiac Disease

Author Affiliations


AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;98(2):142-145. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250260014003

Syncope, or common fainting, is a sudden, usually brief episode of unconsciousness due to a transient dysfunction of certain vital centers. These dramatic episodes never fail to provoke both lay and professional interest. Admittedly the caues of syncope are as varied as the circumstances which surround each appearance of this state. The excellent monograph of Engel1 carefully scrutinizes the many etiologic factors involved in the production of this symptom.

That syncope occurs as a manifestation, symptom, or coexistent sign of cardiac disease is usually the thought of the layman rather than the physician. Many of the textbooks of medicine and cardiology regard syncopal attacks to be of little importance or of doubtful significance to the cardiologist unless associated with complete heart block, ventricular tachycardia, or the syndrome of carotid sinus hypersensitivity. Recently, however, more attention is being given to the fact that the cardiac arrhythmias may precipitate or be