Author: Michael Hunt, MD
- Most causes of syncope are benign
- Pulmonary embolism can result in syncope and is life threatening
- A recent study of Canadian and US ED patients with syncope showed that 0.4% of patients had a PE at 30 day follow-up
- PE should always be considered in cases of syncope but overall is a rare cause
Editor’s note: this study puts to rest a previous study from 2016 that reported a rate of PE in syncope as high as 1 in 6 in patients admitted to syncope – which was met with much skepticism based on clinical practice.
Roncon L, Zuin M, Casazza F, Becattini C, Bilato C, Zonzin P. Impact of syncope and pre-syncope on short-term mortality in patients with acute pulmonary embolism. Eur J Intern Med. 2018 Aug;54:27-33. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2018.04.004. Epub 2018 Apr 11. PubMed PMID: 29655808.
Summarized by Will Dewispelaere, MS3 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD