Case report: Myocardial ischemia: An overlooked substrate in syncope of aortic stenosis

R. F. Baltazar, E. H. Go, S. Benesh, M. M. Mower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The cause of the syncope in aortic stenosis has been the subject of controversy partly because only a few patients have been monitored during their syncopal episodes. Among the mechanisms proposed are hypersensitive carotid sinus, complete A-V block, ventricular arrhythmias, and ischemic myocardial depression. It is now accepted that the syncope is caused by a vasodepressor response from stimulation of left ventricular baroceptors, resulting in reflex hypotension and bradycardia. This case report describes a patient who developed a syncopal episode during stress testing. Although the mechanism for the syncope is consistent with the vasodepressor response, ischemic changes were observed in the electrocardiogram before the development of syncope. Review of literature shows that, although different mechanisms for syncope have been described, all reported patients manifested myocardial ischemia before the development of their syncopal episodes even when the syncope was nonexertional and clearly caused by a vasodepressor response. The authors conclude that, independent of the mechanism proposed, myocardial ischemia is overlooked as an important substrate in which the syncopes are precipitated in aortic stenosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-108
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of the Medical Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Aortic stenosis
  • Exercise test
  • Syncope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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