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Md Med J. 1999 Jul-Aug;48(4):151-4.

Swallow syncope.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Howard County General Hospital, Columbia, Maryland, USA.


Swallowing (or deglutition) syncope is an uncommon, vagally-mediated etiology for syncope that may be seen in children and adults. The mechanism of syncope involves afferent impulses from the upper gastrointestinal tract and efferent impulses to the heart that can produce a variety of bradyarrhythmias with atrioventricular block. Two cases of swallow syncope are reported, one associated with drinking a cold carbonated beverage, and the other precipitated by eating a large bolus of food (which we have termed "Vaso-Bagel" syncope). In evaluating patients with syncope, a history of a temporal relationship to eating or drinking should be sought. While changes in eating habits may be effective in some cases, permanent pacemaker placement is often indicated and is curative.

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