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Syncope and implantable loop recorders: Good value for money?
Date:9/1/2009

roup on Epilepsy, in their report published in June 2007, found that 74,000 patients in the United Kingdom were taking drugs for epilepsy, which they did not need. Patients with syncope (fainting) as well as epilepsy present with transient loss of consciousness (T-LOC) or 'blackouts'. In some patients syncope (fainting) can mimic epilepsy. A temporary decrease in blood supply to the brain which occurs in syncope (fainting) can result in irritation of brain cells causing abnormal movements, which to a lay person can look very similar to epilepsy. In the general population, syncope (fainting) is much more common than epilepsy, affecting 25% of the population at any given time, more so in the elderly.

Patients symptomatic with T-LOC/'blackouts' were considered for inclusion in this study if on review by the neurologists there was a suspicion of misdiagnosis of epilepsy or there was a doubt regarding the diagnosis. Patients had to have suffered at least 3 blackouts in the year before enrolment. In addition, they had to have had a normal or equivocal recording of their heart rhythm (standard ECG and an external recording for at least 24 hours), brain waves (EEG), a scan of the heart (echocardiogram) and of the brain (CT scan or MRI). Once included, all patients underwent a Reveal Plus/Reveal DX implant for monitoring their heart rhythm and tilt table testing. The study protocol allowed for treatment, based on the results of the implantable ECG monitor. The main aim of the study was to record the heart rhythm at the time of the patients symptoms of T-LOC/blackouts by means of the implantable ECG monitor. This study also aimed to determine the value of the tilt table test, a test commonly used in the investigation of patients with T-LOC/blackouts, in this group of patients.

Of the 119 patients screened, 40 were found suitable for inclusion in the study. Two thirds of patients were females and the average age was 39 years. The oldest patient in the st
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Contact: Jacquelline Partarrieu
jpartarrieu@escardio.org
0034-600-919-617
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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