Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms

Vasovagal Syncope Overview

What is vasovagal syncope?
A person with vasovagal syncope has an episode of fainting caused by a drop in blood pressure. The drop in blood pressure reduces the blood flow in the brain, and the entire brain malfunctions. Vasovagal syncope is often triggered by fear, anxiety, or emotional stress. Vasovagal syncope is very common.

What are the symptoms of vasovagal syncope?
Symptoms that may occur before fainting include dizziness, lightheadedness, flushing, nausea, excessive sweating, palpitations, rapid pulse, weakness or fatigue.

How does the doctor treat vasovagal syncope?
Treatment is rarely necessary for vasovagal syncope, because it is caused by emotional stress, rather than a physical illness. A person awakens quickly after they lay down. When the cause of fainting is unclear, treatment may include intravenous fluids, cardiac monitoring, and oral or intravenous glucose.

Continue to Vasovagal Syncope Symptoms

Last Updated: Feb 12, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Vasovagal Syncope References
  1. Boehm KE, Morris EJ, Kip KT, et al: Diagnosis and management of neurally mediated syncope and related conditions in adolescents. J Adolesc Health 2001 Jan; 28(1): 2-9. [11137899]
  2. Crane SD: Risk stratification of patients with syncope in an accident and emergency department. Emerg Med J 2002; 19: 23-27. [11777866]
  3. Gatzoulis K, Sideris S, Theopistou A: Long-term outcome of patients with recurrent syncope of unknown cause in the absence of organic heart disease and relation to results of baseline tilt table testing. Am J Cardiol 2003; 92: 876-879. [14516899]
  4. Tanel RE, Walsh EP: Syncope in the pediatric patient. Cardiol Clin 1997 May; 15(2): 277-94. [9164716]
  5. Wieling W, Colman N, Krediet CT, Freeman R. Nonpharmacological treatment of reflex syncope. Clin Auton Res. 2004 Oct;14 Suppl 1:62-70. [15480932]
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