Seizures and syncope: Anatomic basis and diagnostic considerations

Jeffrey W. Britton, Eduardo Benarroch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Although pathophysiologically distinct, syncope and seizures share clinical characteristics which may make diagnosis difficult. Adding to diagnostic complexity are the facts that seizures and syncope may coexist in the same patient, syncope maybe associated with seizure-like motor manifestations, and seizures may be complicated by cardiac arrhythmia and syncope. Combined EEG/ECG telemetry is sometimes necessary to establish the correct diagnosis. These techniques also provide an opportunity to study the role of certain cortical regions in the modulation of cardiac function. There is an increasing understanding of the central autonomic pathways involved in the genesis of the cardiovascular changes that occur during epileptic seizures. This article reviews the use of EEG/ECG telemetry in the evaluation of syncope and seizures, and the neuroanatomic circuitry involved in the production of the cardiovascular manifestations of seizures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-28
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Autonomic Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Arrhythmia
  • EEG monitoring
  • Epilepsy
  • Syncope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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