Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Malignant Vaso Vagal Syncope due to pain



Since I was about 9 yrs old I have had syncopal events due to pain or discomfort. Not every pain event causes them to occur and they usually are spaced from a few months or years in seperation. After the first event at 9yrs I underwent an EEG to determine if the events were seizures, which they were deemed not to be. The neurologist called it Reflex Sycope and mentioned that my heart could stop if I experienced severe trauma. As I grew older the events have become more frequent due to pain events (i.e. 3 episodes in the last 3 yrs.) The last event occured 3 weeks ago one morning when I awoke with sore ribs on my right side. After tossing and turning to releive the discomfort I went out in bed. 2 additional episodes occured before the ambulance could arrive. The fourth episode occured in the ER while undergiong an EKG. During the ER episode, my heart stopped for 20 seconds. After undergiong and echocardiogram, CAT scan, heart catheterization and numerous cardiologic tests, it was determined that a rate resoponsive pacemaker was needed. While in the hospital I encountered another pain induced episode in which the response with pacer was one of slight dizziness but not to the extent I suffered previously. The doctors could not offer a direct explanation of why pain induces it but likened it to the same needle response some patients have. Im curious if anyone else has had this due to simply a pain event with an involuntary syncopal event.

This web site is not a substitute for a thorough medical evaluation and diagnosis of your vaso-vagal type symptoms.  Medical treatment and diagnosis is the only acceptable initial response to these serious symptoms since they might present from any number of life threatening and treatable illnesses. It is for you and your physician to rule out more serious illnesses; Please don't use this online forum as an alternative to getting responsible medical attention and being under the care of a physician for the duration of any unknown, suspected or dangerous vaso-vagal syndrome symptoms.
Last changed: June 22, 2007