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Am Heart J. 1995 Dec;130(6):1250-3.

Randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral atenolol in patients with unexplained syncope and positive upright tilt table test results.

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  • 1Her Majesty's Cardiac Centre, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


The objective of this investigation was the assessment of the response rate of oral atenolol in patients with vasovagal syncope after 1 month of treatment. We randomized into two groups all patients referred to our unit who had had at least one episode of syncope or two episodes of presyncope 1 month before presentation and had a positive isuprel Tilt Table Test (TTT). Group 1 (Gr 1) received oral atenolol, and group 2 (Gr 2) received placebo medication. After a 1-month period patients were reassessed for degree of their symptoms and underwent repeated TTT. Forty-two patients were enrolled in the study. Gr 1 and Gr 2 were comparable in age (38 +/- 13 years vs 43 +/- 14 years, p = 0.216 and sex (male/female = 6:15 vs 10:11, p = 0.204). The severity of attack was similar in both groups. Eight patients in Gr 1 and six patients in Gr 2 had mitral valve prolapse (p = 0.5). No significant differences were seen in systolic blood pressure (122 +/- 17 vs 117 +/- 16 mmHg, p = 0.334), diastolic blood pressure (70 +/- 11 vs 72 +/- 11 mm Hg, p = 0.677), and heart rate (79 +/- 12 vs 79 +/- 13, p = 0.98) between the two groups. The response rates (negative TTT) after 1 month of treatment were 62% versus 5% (p = 0.0004) in the atenolol and control group, respectively. Moreover, patients who received atenolol reported feeling better compared with those who received placebo (71% vs 29%, p = 0.02). In conclusion, atenolol significantly improved symptoms of patients with vasovagal syncope.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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