Medicine – MCQ 101 – Evaluation of a syncopal attack

Which test is not useful in a patient with history of syncopal attack
a) Electrophysiological test
b) Tilt table test
c) PET scan
d) Holter monitoring

Correct answer : c) PET scan

Electrophysiological tests look for any defects in the signal generation and conduction in the heart, tilt table test checks for precipitation of syncope when the person is kept at about 60 degree elevation for about 20 minutes, Holter monitoring is used to check for any ECG abnormalities in a 24 hour period.

All these tests help in the evaluation of syncope whereas PET scan is a nuclear medicine imaging technique which is mainly used to study the metabolic activity of tissues – it is not of much use in evaluation of syncope.

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