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Fainting (cont.)

Fainting Diagnosis

The cause of fainting is determined in only 60% of cases.

  • Most diagnoses are made through a thorough medical history and physical examination along with an electrocardiogram, or ECG (heart tracing). Based on the findings during the medical history and physical exam, further tests might be ordered to find the underlying cause of the syncopal episode.

Cardiac syncope: If a cardiac cause is suspected, several tests are available. Most are used to identify coronary heart disease, heart valve problems, heart failure, or arrhythmias. In addition to the EKG, an echocardiogram of the heart will often be part of the evaluation.

Noncardiac syncope: Testing depends on the suspected cause. A CT scan is rarely useful but might be ordered. Head-up tilt testing is useful to diagnose vasovagal syncope.

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Fainting - Causes

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