Combining attentive, compassionate care with our extensive clinical and research resources, UT Southwestern's cardiology experts and vascular specialists deliver individualized care within pre-eminent health care facilities.
The skilled physicians at UT Southwestern Medical Center carefully evaluate, diagnose, and treat the underlying causes of syncope (fainting).
Using the latest science-based tools and treatments, our specialists offer a range of diagnosis and treatment options.
Expert Evaluation and Treatment for Syncope
Syncope – fainting, or “passing out” – is an abrupt, temporary loss of consciousness due to a drop in blood pressure.
UT Southwestern’s experienced cardiologists carefully evaluate patients with syncope to correctly diagnose and appropriately treat the underlying cause.
Causes of Syncope
The blood-pressure drop that can lead to fainting can result from many factors, such as:
- Heart disorders
- Metabolic disorders
- Lung disorders
Symptoms of Syncope
Symptoms of syncope can include:
- Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmias)
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty speaking
- Hypotension, or low blood pressure
- Loss of movement
UT Southwestern cardiologists might perform several tests to diagnose syncope. Common diagnostic tests include:
- Cardiac catheterization
- Cardiac CT scan: To check for possible neurologic causes
- Echocardiography (echo or cardiac ultrasound): To get detailed images of the structure and function of the heart and cardiac arteries
- Holter monitor: To record a continuous electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) of the heart's electrical activity with a small external device worn by the patient
- Stress test: To evaluate cardiovascular fitness during exercise
- Tilt table test: To detect a drop in heart rate and blood pressure when the patient moves from lying down to standing
Treatment for SyncopeWhen someone experiences syncope:
- Roll the person onto his or her back and keep the airway open.
- Raise the legs above the head and loosen the person’s clothing.
- Start CPR if breathing and pulse are weak or not present.
UT Southwestern’s cardiac rehabilitation specialists create customized plans that integrate proper nutrition, exercise, and, if necessary, nicotine cessation into patients’ lifestyles to improve their cardiovascular health.