Original Research Article| Volume 224, ISSUE 6, P1374-1379, December 2022

Patient characteristics and diagnostic tests associated with syncopal falls: A Southwestern surgical congress multicenter study


      • Underlying cardiovascular disease increases the risk of syncopal fall.
      • Syncope patients were more likely to undergo diagnostic testing.
      • Syncope patients did not have a higher diagnostic yield to determine the etiology of syncope.
      • Selective syncope workup should be utilized based on comorbidities and clinical presentation.



      Patients suspected of syncope frequently undergo laboratory and imaging studies to determine the etiology of the syncope. Variability exists in these workups across institutions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the utilization and diagnostic yield of these workups and the patient characteristics associated with syncopal falls.


      A multi-institutional retrospective review was performed on adult patients admitted after a fall between 1/2017–12/2018. Syncopal falls were compared to non-syncopal falls.


      4478 patients were included. There were 795 (18%) patients with a syncopal fall. Electrocardiogram, troponin, echocardiogram, CT angiography (CTA), and carotid ultrasound were more frequently tested in syncope patients compared to non-syncope patients. Syncope patients had higher rates of positive telemetry/Holter monitoring, CTAs, and electroencephalograms.


      Patients who sustain syncopal falls frequently undergo diagnostic testing without a higher yield to determine the etiology of syncope.
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