Selected Abstracts

Title: Carotid Sinus Hypersensitivity is Common in Patients Presenting with Hip Fracture and Unexplained Falls

Background: We tried to determine the prevalence of carotid sinus hypersensitivity (CSH) in patients with hip fractures with and without a clear history of an accidental fall.
Methods: We studied 51 patients hospitalized for a hip fracture and 51 matched controls from our outpatients department. All patients were subjected to a carotid sinus massage in the supine and upright position. Patients were categorized in accidental (Group A) and unexplained (Group B) fallers.
Results: Six of 33 (18.2%) patients in Group A and 12 of 18 (66.7%) patients in Group B (P < 0.001) had a positive response to the carotid sinus massage. Nine controls (17.6%) also demonstrated CSH. Patients in Group B were older (A: 75.5 ± 8.5 years vs B: 80.1 ± 5.9 years, P = 0.029) and were more likely to have a history of unexplained falls or syncope in the past (A: 0% vs B: 66.7%, P < 0.0001) than individuals in group A. Vasodepressor/mixed forms accounted for the majority of CSH responses in Group B (75%).
When compared with the control group, CSH was still more common in Group B (B: 66.7% vs control:17.6%, P < 0.0001) but not in Group A (A: 18.2% vs control: 17.6%, P = 1.000).
Conclusions: The prevalence of CSH is increased in elderly patients with hip fractures, only in those who present with an unexplained fall and report a history of syncope or unexplained falls in the past.
The vasodepressor/mixed forms account for the majority of CSH responses in the group of unexplained fallers. (PACE 2009;32:1184-1190)

Title: Is Home Orthostatic Self-Training Effective in Preventing Neurally Mediated Syncope

Background: Repeated orthostatic stress may prove to be of benefit in the regulation of neurally mediated syncope. But the role of home orthostatic self-training is not established to prevent symptoms in patients with neurally mediated syncope. We performed a prospective and randomized study to evaluate the effectiveness of repeated home orthostatic self-training in preventing tilt-induced neurally mediated syncope.

Methods and Results: Fourty-two consecutive patients (24 males and 18 females, mean age 39 years, 16-68 years) with recurrent neurally mediated syncope were randomized into the tilt training and control groups. The home orthostatic self-training program consisted of daily sessions for 7 days a week for 4 weeks. In order to determine the effects of home orthostatic self-training, we repeated the head-up tilt test in both groups 4 weeks later. Among the tilt-training group, 9 of 16 patients (56%) had a positive response on follow-up head-up tilt test. Among the untreated control group, 9 of 17 patients (53%) had a positive response on follow-up head-up tilt test. In subgroup analyses according to the number of tilttraining sessions or the classified type, we found no differences in the follow-up head-up tilt test responses. Spontaneous syncope or presyncope over mean follow-up of 16.9 months were observed in 42.9% versus 47.1% in the tilt-training and control group, respectively.

Conclusions: Home orthostatic self-training was ineffective in reducing the positive response rate of head-up tilt test in patients with recurrent neurally mediated syncope.