The Diagnostic Value of Cardiac Deceleration Capacity in Vasovagal Syncope

Lihui Zheng, Wei Sun, Shangyu Liu, Erpeng Liang, Zhongpeng Du, Jingrui Guo, Lingmin Wu, Samuel J. Asirvatham, Yan Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Increased parasympathetic activity is thought to play important roles in syncope events of patients with vasovagal syncope (VVS). However, direct measurements of the vagal control are difficult. The novel deceleration capacity (DC) of heart rate measure has been used to characterize the vagal modulation. This study aimed to assess vagal control in patients with VVS and evaluate the diagnostic value of the DC in VVS. Methods: Altogether, 161 consecutive patients with VVS (43±15 years; 62 males) were enrolled. Tilt table test was positive in 101 and negative in 60 patients. Sixty-five healthy subjects were enrolled as controls. DC and heart rate variability in 24-hour ECG, echocardiogram, and biochemical examinations were compared between the syncope and control groups. Results: DC was significantly higher in the syncope group than in the control group (9.6±3.3 versus 6.5±2.0 ms, P<0.001). DC was similarly increased in patients with VVS with a positive and negative tilt table test (9.7±3.5 and 9.4±2.9 ms, P=0.614). In multivariable logistic regression analyses, DC was independently associated with syncope (odds ratio=1.518 [95% CI, 1.301-1.770]; P=0.0001). For the prediction of syncope, the area under curve analysis showed similar values when comparing single DC and combined DC with other risk factors (P=0.1147). From the receiver operator characteristic curves for syncope discrimination, the optimal cutoff value for the DC was 7.12 ms. Conclusions: DC>7.5 ms may serve as a good tool to monitor cardiac vagal activity and discriminate VVS, particularly in those with negative tilt table test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E008659
JournalCirculation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


  • area under curve
  • deceleration
  • heart rate
  • risk factors
  • syncope, vasovagal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'The Diagnostic Value of Cardiac Deceleration Capacity in Vasovagal Syncope'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this