What is the role of serum electrolyte levels and renal function tests in the workup of syncope?

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

These tests have an exceedingly low yield in syncope if performed empirically. Some risk stratification protocols use electrolyte level abnormalities and renal insufficiency as poor prognostic indicators.

In a study by Martin et al, 134 patients with syncope had electrolytes drawn as part of the routine workup. [31] One patient was unexpectedly found to be hyponatremic secondary to diuretic use.

Serum electrolyte tests are indicated in patients with altered mental status or in patients in whom seizure is being considered. If arrhythmia is noted, evaluation of electrolytes may be useful.


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