Syncope is defined as a sudden and transient loss of consciousness and postural tone with spontaneous recovery.
Neurocardiogenic Syncope is a specific form of passing out spells caused by sudden drops in heart rate or blood pressure. Neurocardiogenic syncope is the most common reason for fainting. Blood pressure rapidly falls, and blood flow to the brain becomes very low leading person to lose consciousness, usually for few seconds. Neurocardiogenic syncope can occur suddenly, in response to a startling event or strain (a needle stick, pain, fear, cough, or defecation). It can also occur after prolonged standing, heat exposure, or exertion.
Neurocardiogenic syncope is common and usually does not signal any serious problem or increased health risk. It can affect people of all ages, but is particularly common in young women. Neurocardiogenic syncope is put in the category of a reflex syncope, which is related to orthostatic intolerance. It is also known as Vasovagal syncope, Simple Faint, Neurally-Mediated syncope or Vasodepressor Syncope.
Symptoms Leading to Neurocardiogenic Syncope:
Neurocardiogenic syncope occurs in predisposed individuals in the following settings:
- Immediately after exercise
- After emotionally stressful events
- After being in a warm environment
- Infection, dehydration, and alcohol intake
- After prolonged periods of quiet upright posture
- Based on genetic make-up, dietary factors, psychological state
Neurocardiogenic Syncope Causes:
Neurocardiogenic Syncope most often happens to people in stressful or painful situations that causes them Anxiety, for example, when having blood drawn or receiving an injection.
In patients with overly sensitive nervous systems, straining and stress causes blood to pool in their legs. As a result, blood pressure may drop, reducing circulation to the brain. In others, their heart rate slows, sending insufficient blood to the brain, causing fainting.
Diagnosis of Neurocardiogenic Syncope:
- It is important to rule out other reasons for the fainting episode(s).
- Past medical history and thorough examination by the doctor determine diagnosis.
- In carotid sinus massage, an individual’s carotid artery (in the neck) is massaged while being monitored by the doctor to observe any fainting response.
In tilt-table testing, the patient lies down on a table that is tilted upright to observe drops in their heart rate or blood pressure. This test is very effective in identifying patients with very sensitive nervous systems.
Treatment Options for Neurocardiogenic Syncope:
- Anyone experiencing the symptoms of fainting should lie down immediately, with their legs elevated. They should be given plenty of room and air. If possible, whatever provoked the stress or Anxiety should be stopped.
- They should remain lying down until complete recovery.
- As stated above, fainters may die if kept upright and not allowed to lie down. However, this is very rare.
- In people with frequent or disabling symptoms, treatment with beta-blockers may help. Other medicines that can be used include Scopolamine, Disopyramide, or Theophylline.
- Some patients may need to be on a high salt diet or wear compression stockings.
- For people with frequent episodes of fainting caused by Slow Heart Rate, they may need a pacemaker.
- Vasovagal syncope is usually not a very serious problem and is usually very easily treated. If care is taken, repeat episodes may be avoided.
Prevention of Neurocardiogenic Syncope:
Anyone with a history of fainting when receiving injections or having blood drawn should lie down before the procedure. They should try not to look at the needle, and their legs should be kept elevated if possible.
Seek counsel from our Houston Cardiologist if you are suffering from Neurocardiogenic Syncope for the best treatment options for you. Advanced Cardiovascular Care Center…! Call on +1 281-866-7701.