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Syncope Diagnosis

Patients with a slow or abnormal heart rate during or after syncope should have a physical exam, blood tests, history and other tests such as:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a simple non-invasive test that can be done in the doctor’s office using small adhesive pads called electrodes that are placed on the arms, legs, and chest. These electrodes are connected to a machine that detects and prints out the heart's electrical impulses, giving a 10 sec10-secondhot of what the heart is doing right at that moment.
     
  • Holter monitor is used to give a detailed analysis of the heart’s electrical activity over a period of 24 hours (1 day). For this non-invasive test, which is done at home, 4 or 5 adhesive electrodes are placed on the chest and connected to an electrical recording device that is usually worn on the belt or on a neck/shoulder strap. This device records every heartbeat for the duration of the time that it’s worn.
     
  • Advanced heart rhythm tests include electrophysiology mapping done in a special clinic, tilt table testing, and exercise stress test.