9 Their patients had the so-called spontaneous form of the disease. Tight collars and neck movements 8,9 have a particular tendency to trigger the reflex and occasionally
neck tumours, neck surgery or irradiation may also c-Met cancer act as triggers. 10 Most patients present syncope without any local trigger but the diagnosis is nevertheless made by addressing the carotid sinus by massage, CSM, as described above. Figure 2. Overlap of results of provocative testing in patients with unexplained syncope. The Venn diagram shows the distribution of positive responses to CSM, Eyeball compression and head-up tilt test in 100 patients with unexplained syncope with 79 having at … Epidemiology Comprehension of the epidemiology of carotid sinus
syndrome is adversely affected by confusion over its definition. The only fairly precise estimates of incidence of CSS were made in the 1980s from Lavagna in Italy 11 and from Worthing, Sussex in the United Kingdom 12 which gave that of cardioinhibitory CSS as 35–40 new patients per million population per year. The reason for the restriction to cardioinhibition reflects selection of patients for treatment by pacing. To my knowledge there have been no good estimates of population incidence that include the vasodepressor form of CSS. The prevalence of CSS has been estimated to be < 4% in patients < 40 years and 41% in those >80 years attending a specialized syncope facility. 13,14 Estimates of the incidence amongst patients presenting with syncope are better than population data with the latest figures from Lavagna, Italy being 8.8% having CSS in a population of 1855 patients with unexplained syncope by initial evaluation. 2 Of these 164 patients 81% had asystole with CSM and 19% had vasodepression. CSS is more common at 8.8% of presenting patients than cardiac syncope of all types, as this represents 10% of patients unexplained by the initial evaluation but only 5% of those after the final diagnosis. 2 Clinical features Patients present with
syncope that has little or no prodrome. They are mostly males and often have evidence of cardiovascular disease. With Batimastat respect to rhythm disturbances there is an association with sinus node disease ranging from 21–56% and with atrioventricular block (21–37%). Syncope recurrence is common and is reported to be 50% in 2 years. 15,16 There is also a high mortality, which is considered to be related to co-morbidities and age rather than CSS itself. 17 When monitored by a special delayed hysteresis pacemaker or by an implantable loop recorder 15,16 in cardioinhibitory patients the detected arrhythmia is sinus arrest without escape rhythm in 72%. The overlap between CSS and VVS raises difficulties in determination of which is the attributable cause of syncope.