UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Cardiology

Title: syncope vs. seizures

Keywords: syncope, seizure (PubMed Search)

Posted: 10/27/2008 by Amal Mattu, MD (Updated: 8/15/2022)
Click here to contact Amal Mattu, MD

Syncope patients are often misdiagnosed as having a seizure. Some factors favoring true syncope:
1. Preceding nausea or diaphoreses
2. Oriented (not confused) upon waking (no post-ictal period).
3. Age > 45
4. Prolonged sitting or standing before episode
5. History of CHF or CAD

Factors favoring seizures:
1. History of seizure disorder
2. Tongue biting
3. Confusion upon waking
4. Loss of consciousness > 5 min
5. Age < 45
6. Preceding aura
7. Observed unusual posturing, jerking, or head turning during episode