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Presyncope is a state consisting of lightheadedness, muscular weakness, and feeling faint (as opposed to a syncope, which is actually fainting). Pre-syncope is most often cardiovascular in etiology. In many patients, lightheadedness is a symptom of orthostatic hypotension. Orthostatic hypotension occurs when blood pressure drops significantly when the patient stands from a supine or sitting position. If loss of consciousness occurs in this situation, it is termed syncope.
According to McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine © 2002, presyncope is "An episode of near-fainting which may include lightheadedness, dizziness, severe weakness, blurred vision, which may precede a syncopal episode."
Clinical test[edit | edit source]
The tilt table test is an evaluative clinical test to help identify presyncope or syncope. A tilt angle of 60 and 70 degrees is optimal and maintains a high degree of specificity. A positive sign with the tilt table test must be taken in context of patient history, with consideration of pertinent clinical findings before coming to a conclusion.
References[edit | edit source]
- Reeves, Alexander G, Rand S. Swenson Chapter 14: Evaluation of the Dizzy Patient. Disorders of the nervous system: a primer. Dartmouth Medical School. URL accessed on 2012-01-06.
- Natale, A., Akhtar, M., Jazayeri, M., Dhala, A., Blanck, Z., Deshpande, S., et al. (1995). Provocation of Hypotension During Head-Up Tilt Testing in Subjects With No History of Syncope or Presyncop. American Heart Association, (92), 54-58. doi: 10.1161/01.CIR.92.1.54; url: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/92/1/54.full
Symptoms and signs: cognition, perception, emotional state and behaviour (R40-R46, 780.0-780.5,781.1)
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