Syncope is a transient loss of consciousness. The diagnosis of the cause of syncope can be complicated and may require an assessment by a cardiac electrophysiologist.
Non-invasive tests, such as tilt table studies, Holter monitors, and event/loop recorders are often necessary to diagnose the cause of syncope. Occasionally, a special invasive test called an EP (electrophysiology) study is necessary to diagnose cause of syncope. An EP study involves placing specialized catheters in the heart to electrically stimulate the heart and study its electrical properties.
Although many causes of syncope require no treatment, abnormal slow heart rate (i.e. bradycardia) or abnormal fast heart rate (i.e. tachycardia) often require treatment. Bradycardia may require implantation of a permanent pacemaker. Tachycardia may require medications, defibrillators, or a specialized ablation procedure that can cure some abnormal fast heart rhythms.