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Reproducibility of tilt-table test result in patients with malignant neurocardiogenic syncope

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The indication for permanent pacemaker remains controversial in malignant neurocardiogenic syncope. A highly reproducible prolonged pause during a repeat head-up tilt-table testing may identify a subgroup of neurally mediated syncope with a prominent and consistent cardioinhibitory component. Seven patients (3 females) with a mean age of 30 years (23−44 years) were diagnosed to have malignant neurocardiogenic ­syncope; all are classified according to the Vasovagal Syncope International Study as 2B type, with observed sinus pauses ranged from 3 s to 26 s of which only 1 demonstrated a reproducible sinus pause. No recurrence of syncope was clinically observed in patients during the follow-up period. Of 6 patients treated non-­pharmacologically, one required a beta-blocker and none required a permanent pacemaker. Prolonged asystole manifest during head-up tilt-table testing is a poorly reproducible phenomenon and permanent pacemaker implantation in malignant neurocardiogenic syncope should not be a first line therapy. (Intern Med J 2004; 34: 504−506)

Keywords: asystole; malignant; neurocardiogenic syncope; pacemaker; tilt‐table test

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Cardiac Department, National University Hospital, Singapore

Publication date: August 1, 2004


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