Vol 21, No 6 (2014)
Review Article
Published online: 2014-12-18

open access

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Clinical history in management of suspected syncope: A powerful diagnostic tool

Richard Sutton, Nynke van Dijk, Wouter Wieling
DOI: 10.5603/CJ.2014.0097
Cardiol J 2014;21(6):651-657.


In this paper, the role of history taking as a diagnostic tool in patients with transient loss of consciousness (TLOC) is addressed. From a literature review it can be demonstrated that, if properly performed, the history is a powerful diagnostic tool, which in the majority of cases proves to be the only ‘test’ necessary to establish a diagnosis other than physical examination and electrocardiogram in patients with TLOC. In order to substantiate this conclusion, we examine the different levels of history taking according to the skills and training of the physician involved, the diagnostic yield of each level, the methodology, and the influence of the venue and urgency of the case.