What are the signs and symptoms of syncope?

Updated: Jan 13, 2017
  • Author: Rumm Morag, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Prior faintness, dizziness, or light-headedness occurs in 70% of patients experiencing true syncope. Other symptoms, such as vertigo, weakness, diaphoresis, epigastric discomfort, nausea, blurred or faded vision, pallor, or paresthesias, may also occur in the presyncopal period.

Symptoms of nausea or diaphoresis prior to the event may suggest syncope rather than seizure when the episode was not witnessed, whereas an aura may suggest seizure.

Patients with true syncope do not remember actually falling to the ground. Presyncope involves the same symptoms and pathophysiology but terminates prior to loss of consciousness and can occasionally include loss of postural tone.

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