Syncope is defined as a transient loss of consciousness due to global cerebral hypoperfusion and is one of the leading causes of emergency department admission. The initial approach should focus on excluding non‐syncopal causes for loss of consciousness and risk stratification for cardiac cause, in order to ensure an appropriate etiological investigation and therapeutic approach. Vasovagal syncope (VVS), the most common type of syncope, should be assumed once other causes are excluded. Pathophysiologically, the vasovagal reflex is the result of a paradoxical autonomic response, leading to hypotension and/or bradycardia. VVS has not been shown to affect mortality, but morbidity may be considerable in those with recurrent syncopal episodes. The management of VVS includes both non‐pharmacological and pharmacological measures that act on various levels of the reflex arc that triggers the syncopal episode. However, most are of uncertain benefit given the scarcity of high‐quality supporting evidence. Pacemaker therapy may be considered in recurrent refractory cardioinhibitory reflex syncope, for which it is currently considered a robust intervention, as noted in the European guidelines. Non‐randomized and unblinded studies have shown a potential benefit of pacing in recurrent VVS, but double‐blinded randomized controlled trials have not consistently demonstrated positive results. We performed a comprehensive review of the current literature and recent advances in cardiac pacing and pacing algorithms in VVS, and discuss the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to the complex patient with recurrent VVS and reduced quality of life.
|Translated title of the contribution||Diagnostic and therapeutic approach to cardioinhibitory reflex syncope: A complex and controversial issue|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Revista Portuguesa de Cardiologia|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sep 2019|
- Loss of consciousness
- Vasovagal reflex