Cardiac syncope, when an abnormality of the heart is suspected to be the cause, arises from either an arrhythmia or a structural issue with the heart itself that affects the normal flow of the blood.
If we diagnose that you have cardiac syncope, we will determine your risk for possible unfavorable outcomes and might decide that you need immediate hospitalization for further diagnosis and treatment.
If a cardiac cause is suspected then we will perform echocardiography, which will reveal any conditions that may be causing your fainting episode(s).
Examples of common conditions include the following:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Severe valvular abnormalities (critical aortic stenosis)
- Severe pulmonary hypertension
- Left ventricular dysfunction
- Prior heart attack
If any of the above conditions are identified, we’ll proceed with the appropriate treatment. A far greater diagnostic challenge occurs when you are believed to have either syncope caused by a transient arrhythmia or a neural (autonomic function) disorder causing the syncope. In those cases, additional tests must be performed to ascertain the correct cause and type of syncope, which will inform the course of your treatment.