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Permanent cardiac pacing in elderly patients with recurrent falls, dizziness and syncope, and a hypersensitive cardioinhibitory reflex.
  1. J. G. Crilley,
  2. B. Herd,
  3. C. S. Khurana,
  4. C. A. Appleby,
  5. M. A. de Belder,
  6. A. Davies,
  7. J. A. Hall
  1. Department of Cardiology, South Cleveland Hospital, Middlesbrough, UK.

    Abstract

    The study was designed to assess the outcome of treatment with permanent dual-chamber pacing of elderly patients with falls, dizziness and syncope associated with the demonstration of a hypersensitive cardioinhibitory reflex. Questionnaires were sent to patients (and their general practitioners) who had been referred to a regional pacing centre with recurrent falls, dizziness or syncope diagnosed as likely to be secondary to cardioinhibitory carotid sinus syndrome or predominantly cardioinhibitory vasovagal syndrome. After pacemaker insertion, 84% of patients had no further syncope over a mean follow-up period of 10 (range 1.5 to 30) months. Minor symptoms persisted in only 40% of all patients. Symptoms were unchanged in 22%. It was concluded that permanent dual-chamber pacing is an effective treatment for elderly patients with recurrent falls, dizziness and syncope in whom a hypersensitive cardioinhibitory reflex is found. Good results were obtained in this group with a simple diagnostic work-up.

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