The Influence of Age on Cerebral Tissue Oxygenation in Vasovagal Syncope and Orthostatic Hypotension

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Age-related physiological impairment increases susceptibility to syncope. We tested the hypotheses that cerebral oxygenation during orthostatic provocation, as well as the level at which syncope occurs, differs according to age. Non-invasive hemodynamic monitoring and cerebral oximetry were applied during a head-up tilt test in 139 patients with vasovagal syncope (mean (SD) 45, (17) years, 60%-female); 121 patients with orthostatic hypotension (61.4 (19.2) years, 49.6%-female); and 82 patients with a negative head-up tilt test (45 (18) years, 61%-female). Group differences in cerebral tissue oxygenation levels and systolic blood pressure were assessed in supine at 3 and 10 min of orthostatic provocation, 30 s before (i.e., presyncopal phase) and during syncope in age groups of <30, 30–60, and >60 years. During the head-up tilt test, cerebral tissue oxygenation at the presyncopal phase decreased with age, both in patients with vasovagal syncope (<30 years: 66.9 ± 6.2, 30–60: 64.5 ± 6.1, >60: 62.2 ± 5.8%; p = 0.009) and orthostatic hypotension (<30: 67.4 ± 4.4, 30–60: 61.6 ± 6.2, >60: 57.5 ± 3.9; p < 0.001). Mean systolic blood pressure at the presyncopal phase did not differ according to age. Cerebral oxygenation prior to syncope in older individuals with vasovagal syncope and orthostatic hypotension is lower compared with younger individuals independently of systolic blood pressure. This suggests that the level of cerebral oxygenation at which syncope is elected is lower in older individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4302
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Anesthesiology and Intensive Care

Free keywords

  • vasovagal syncope
  • orthostatic hypotension
  • syncope


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