<< Syncope In Pediatric Patients: A Practical Approach To Differential Diagnosis And Management In The Emergency Department

Etiology And Pathophysiology

Syncope, while technically an ICD (International Statistical Classification of Diseases) diagnosis, is the presenting symptom of relative cerebral hypoperfusion that is the result of neurocardiogenic, cardiac, neurologic, metabolic, toxin-mediated, or psychiatric etiologies. With respect to the pediatric population, syncope is more common in the adolescent population (ages 13 to 18 years) and is more common in girls than boys. In the adolescent population, syncope most commonly results from a benign etiology and is most often neurocardiogenic in nature. Young children rarely present with syncope, except in the setting of breath-holding spells, seizures, and cardiac dysrhythmias.5 In young children, unless the history is classic for a breath-holding spell, additional evaluation is warranted.

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