How does knowing the activity prior to syncope help in determining etiology?

Updated: Jan 13, 2017
  • Author: Rumm Morag, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

Activity prior to syncope may give a clue as to the etiology of symptoms. Syncope may occur at rest; with change of posture; on exertion; after exertion; or with specific situations such as shaving, coughing, voiding, or prolonged standing. Syncope occurring within 2 minutes of standing suggests orthostatic hypotension. [28]

Assess whether the patient was standing, sitting, or lying when the syncope occurred. Syncope while seated or lying is more likely to be cardiac. [29]


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