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Postgrad Med J. 1997 Jul;73(861):415-8.

Permanent cardiac pacing in elderly patients with recurrent falls, dizziness and syncope, and a hypersensitive cardioinhibitory reflex.

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Department of Cardiology, South Cleveland Hospital, Middlesbrough, UK.


The study was designed to assess the outcome of treatment with permanent dual-chamber pacing of elderly patients with falls, dizziness and syncope associated with the demonstration of a hypersensitive cardioinhibitory reflex. Questionnaires were sent to patients (and their general practitioners) who had been referred to a regional pacing centre with recurrent falls, dizziness or syncope diagnosed as likely to be secondary to cardioinhibitory carotid sinus syndrome or predominantly cardioinhibitory vasovagal syndrome. After pacemaker insertion, 84% of patients had no further syncope over a mean follow-up period of 10 (range 1.5 to 30) months. Minor symptoms persisted in only 40% of all patients. Symptoms were unchanged in 22%. It was concluded that permanent dual-chamber pacing is an effective treatment for elderly patients with recurrent falls, dizziness and syncope in whom a hypersensitive cardioinhibitory reflex is found. Good results were obtained in this group with a simple diagnostic work-up.

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