The Blog

Fainting Part II of II

  • Pin It

Signs of Cardiovascular Syncope

Cardiovascular syncope usually occurs suddenly.   There might not be any warning signs that person is about to faint.  Some individuals may feel the following:


  • Pressure, tightness, chest discomfort, and/or pain
  • Heart palpitations (feels like a fluttering, racing, or pounding sensation in your heart)
  • Shortness of breath


Long QT Syndrome and Cardiovascular Syncope

Fainting is the main symptom and may be the only warning sign, of Long QT Syndrome (LQTS), an inherited heart electrical disorder.   LQTS is thought to be a common cause of unexplained and sudden death in young adults and children.   It is thought to occur in as many as 1 in 5,000 people and causes up to 4,000 deaths in children and young adults each year in the US.

There is no magic bullet to treat all types of syncope; therefore, an accurate diagnosis is very important.  Treatment should address and fix the underlying cause of syncope.

Cardiovascular syncope may be controlled or stopped with one or more of the following therapies:


  • A pacemaker implant is the most common treatment for syncope that is caused by a slow heartbeat (bradycardia).  The pacemaker will continuously monitor the natural rhythm of the heart and deliver an electrical impulse to stimulate or pace the heart to contract if the heart rate drops below a certain rate.


  • Treatment for a fast heartbeat (tachycardia) depends on where it occurs (the upper chambers (atria) or lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart).   The treatments to address tachycardia induced syncope may include:


  • Catheter cardiac ablation is a minimally invasive procedure where catheters are inserted using x-ray guidance into the blood vessels and directed to the heart.   A burst of radiofrequency energy heats and destroys very small areas of tissue that caused the abnormal electrical signals.


  • An implantable defibrillator (ICD) is like a pacemaker in that it continually monitors the heart.  It differs by delivering a life-saving shock if a dangerous heart rhythm is detected.  An ICD significantly improves survival in certain individuals who are at high risk for a life threatening heart rhythm disorder called ventricular fibrillation (VF).  VF is the leading cause of sudden cardiac arrest known as sudden cardiac death.


  • Medications can be given to control irregular heart rhythms or heart disease that are causing syncope spells


  • Cardioversion is a controlled, electric shock that is given to restore the normal rhythm of the heart.   It is usually used to treat abnormal rhythms that originate the atria, the heart’s upper chambers.
  • Pin It

Related Post

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.

« « Previous post| Next post » »