An initial assessment including a comprehensive history, physical examination, and ECG is the cornerstone of evaluation and diagnosis in patients presenting with syncope. Diagnosis of syncope can be intimidating given the number of potential etiologies and large number of tests available to the clinician, and patients are often sent for extensive testing before a simple interview is conducted. A good history, examination, and ECG can lead directly to a diagnosis in almost half of cases, making further testing unnecessary. In most of the remaining cases, the initial work-up suggests a cause and therefore directs testing appropriately.
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Seminars in Medical Practice
Hospital Physician Board Review Manuals
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Updated 1/04/08 kkj