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Prevalence of hypotensive disorders in older patients with a pacemaker in situ who attend the Accident and Emergency Department because of falls or syncope

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rodney Bexton, Professor Rose Anne Kenny


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Aims To ascertain the proportion of adults with a pace-maker in situ attending the Accident and Emergency Department because of syncope or unexplained falls and the cause of index symptoms in these patients, including the prevalence of hypotensive syndromes. Methods and results Patients presenting to the Accident and Emergency Department with unexplained syncope or non-accidental falls, who had a pacemaker in situ, were studied. Eligible patients had cardiovascular assessment (morning orthostatic blood pressure measurement, heart rate and BP measurements during carotid sinus stimulation (supine and upright), head-up tilt at 70degrees for 40 min), assessment of haemodynamics during fixed mode pacing and gait and balance assessment. Of 5863 patients screened, 13.5% had unexplained syncope or a non-accidental fall; of these only 3% (26 patients) had pacemakers in situ. Of 18 study patients (82 8 years), 10 were female. Sixteen had a hypotensive diagnosis. Seven had more than one attributable hypotensive diagnosis. Five of 13 with vasodepressor carotid sinus syndrome had no previous diagnosis of carotid sinus hypersensitivity. No patients had vasovagal syncope induced during passive head-up tilt testing. Conclusion It is rare for patients who attend the Accident and Emergency Department because of syncope or unexplained falls to have a pacemaker in situ. In those who do, hypotensive disorders are a common finding. (C) 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd on behalf of The European Society of Cardiology.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bexton RS; Kenny RA; Mitchell LE; Richardson DA; Davies AJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Europace

Year: 2002

Volume: 4

Issue: 2

Pages: 143-147

ISSN (print): 1099-5129

ISSN (electronic): 1532-2092

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1053/eupc.2002.0225


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