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Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2013 Sep-Oct;56(2):203-10. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2013.08.007. Epub 2013 Sep 23.

ECG monitoring in syncope.

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Cardiology Division, Heart Research Follow-up Program, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA. Electronic address:


Electrocardiographic (ECG) monitoring is a well-established procedure in the work-up of patients with syncope or for diagnosing arrhythmias. The investigation of syncope remains, however, challenging and physicians have an increasing armamentarium of diagnostic tools available and with advances in technology the role of these tools has to be continuously evaluated. The gold standard for the diagnosis of syncope is a symptom-ECG correlation, and while many studies have investigated the use and indications of both short-term and long-term monitoring; there is still some uncertainty in their clinical utility and practical approach. The use of ECG monitoring and other diagnostic tools is often subject to a "shot-gun approach" rather than a strict guideline algorithm. A systematic approach and selection of ECG monitoring tools helps permit an effective usage of the limited health care resources available for the management of unexplained syncope. In this review we aim to focus and clarify the role of short-term (Holter and external loop recorders) and long-term (implantable loop recorders) ECG monitoring in the diagnosis and management of patients with unexplained syncope.


Diagnosis; ECG; ECG monitoring; ELR; ICD; ILR; MCOT; Risk stratification; Syncope; electrocardiogram; external loop recorder; implantable cardioverter/defibrillator; implantable loop recorder; mobile cardiac outpatient telemegtry

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