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Clin Med Res. 2011 Nov;9(3-4):125-9. doi: 10.3121/cmr.2010.969. Epub 2011 Jan 24.

Swallow syncope: a case report and review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, Wisconsin 5444, USA.


Swallow or deglutition syncope is a relatively rare syndrome. It is a vagally mediated syncope induced by swallowing. Swallow syncope may occur in all age groups and, when diagnosed, is treatable. A woman, aged 60 years, presented with an episode of a syncopal attack associated with swallowing a sandwich. She had a 6-month history of recurrent episodes of lightheadedness while eating solid foods. Telemetry monitoring demonstrated several episodes of severe bradycardia and complete atrioventricular block with up to a 7.0 second pause associated with meals. Computed tomography of the head and neck revealed no significant findings, and barium esophagram was normal. Echocardiogram was within normal limits. Her symptoms resolved after permanent pacemaker placement. Herein, we review the diagnosis, mechanism, and management of swallow syncope.

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