Amelia Heart & Vascular Center is a respected leader in vascular medicine serving the Northern Virginia area.

Syncope is when a temporarily loss of consciousness due to insufficient blood flow to the brain. Syncope is also referred to as “fainting” or “passing out”. This occurs when the blood pressure is too low so the heart cannot pump enough oxygen rich blood to the brain.


There are many causes to syncope, life threatening and non-life threatening. Causes include:

  • Overheating
  • Dehydration
  • Sweating
  • Exhaustion
  • Bradycardia
  • Tachycardia
  • Blood flow obstruction


Patients that feel an episode of syncope may feel some premonitory symptoms. These symptoms include

  • Blacking out
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling drowsy
  • Feeling weak when standing
  • Headaches

Imaging and Diagnostics:

There are many ways for the doctor to diagnose syncope. Below are tests that the doctor may ask the patient to make a proper diagnosis

  • Electrocardiogram
  • Echocardiogram
  • Exercise stress test
  • Ambulatory monitor


The treatment for syncope will depend on what is causing it and the results of the imaging tests. Treatment options the doctor may suggest include

  • Medication
  • Pacemaker
  • ICD