Keywords: syncope, near-syncope, pre-syncope (PubMed Search)
Is there a difference in the workup, etiologies, or prognosis between patients with syncope vs. near-syncope? Traditional teaching indicates that there is no difference, but that doesn't necessarily reflect common practice. Physicians sometimes are a bit less concerned about patients with near-syncope vs. patients with true, full-blown syncope; and many syncope studies exclude patients with near-syncope.
Grossman and colleagues recently published a useful reminder that patients with syncope and near-syncope have a similar 30-day rate of adverse outcome. However, they have a lower admission rate, reflecting the lower level of concern physicians have in their evaluation. Be wary of those patients with near-syncope. Don't be reassured just because they didn't hit the floor...yet!
Grossman SA, Babineau M, Burke L, et al. Do outcomes of near syncope parallel syncope? Amer J Emerg Med 2010 (article currently in press)