Prevention of Syncope Trial (POST): A randomized clinical trial of beta blockers in the prevention of vasovagal syncope

R. Sheldon, S. Rose, S. Connolly, D. Newman, C. Simpson, H. Abdollah, C. Morillo, J. Guzman, M. Frenneaux, J. Pascual, H. Calkins, K. Stein, D. Bloomfield, W. Paladino, B. Grubb, M. Carlson, F. Fouad-Tarazi, D. Benditt, M. Davis, M. BarlowS. Hohnloser, T. Klingenheben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background. Few therapies for vasovagal syncope have been proven effective. A large, placebo-controlled clinical trial of beta-blockers is needed. Structure of study. The Prevention of Syncope Trial (POST) is a multicentre, randomized, placebo-controlled, study of metoprolol in the prevention of vasovagal syncope. The primary hypothesis is that beta-blockers will increase the time to the first recurrence of syncope when compared with placebo. Patients will be randomized 1:1 to receive metoprolol or placebo, and followed for 1 year. The primary endpoint is the time to first syncope recurrence, and secondary endpoints include syncope frequency, presyncope, and quality of life. Inclusion and exclusion criteria. Patients are eligible if they have a positive tilt test and 3 syncopal spells preceding the tilt test. They are excluded if they have seizures or other causes of syncope; important heart disease; a contraindication to or need for beta blockers; a permanent pacemaker; a major noncardiovascular disease; or previous use of beta blockers at a dose greater than the equivalent of metoprolol 25 mg twice daily for the purpose of suppressing vasovagal syncope. Power calculations. We assume a 40% risk of syncope in the control arm, an absolute reduction of 20% by metoprolol, and a dropout of 20%. Entry of 220 patients will result in an 80% chance of reaching a positive conclusion about beta-blocker therapy with 2p=0.05.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-75
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003


  • Beta-blockers
  • Quality of life
  • Randomized clinical trial
  • Tilt table test
  • Vasovagal syncope


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