Heart Rate Variability with Spells of Unconsciousness in the Elderly
H. Semo, S. Feldman, A. Adunsky
Dept. of Geriatric Medicine and Neufeld Institute of Cardiology, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer
Presyncope, syncope and falls in undetermined circumstances are frequent among the elderly. They may be caused by orthostatic hypotension secondary to autonomic insufficiency. Tilt-tests and determination of catecholamines in serum and urine may establish the diagnosis, but often may not be feasible in these patients.
A simple, indirect, noninvasive technique to assess autonomic insufficiency is analysis of heart rate variability during Holter-monitoring. We present 5 cases in which it proved useful in the investigation of spells of unconsciousness.