Syncope in athletes

Mark S. Link, Munther K. Homoud, Paul J. Wang, N. A Mark Estes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Syncope is a common event in all age groups and all people, with multiple causes and prognoses. In young individuals without heart disease, syncope is not likely to be a harbinger of a life-threatening disorder. However, occasionally syncope can be a warning of impending sudden cardiac death, especially in those with heart disease. The young athlete with syncope shares many characteristics with the nonathlete. Foremost among these similarities are the similar physiology and pathophysiology of syncope, presyncope, and cardiac arrhythmias. The most common cause of syncope will be neurocardiogenic syncope. In those athletes with underlying heart disease, syncope may be an ominous sign. The treatment of syncope in the athlete offers some unique challenges, often in an attempt to avoid pharmacologic therapy and to maximize ability to play. Radiofrequency ablation should be offered to those athletes with conditions in which a cure is possible. Restriction of competitive athletics is necessary for those with life-threatening conditions while those with benign conditions can continue to compete.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-632
Number of pages8
JournalCardiovascular Reviews and Reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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