Vasodepressor Cough Syncope masked by sleep apnea-induced asystole

Oana Dickinson, Prabhjot S Nijjar, Barry L.S. Detloff, David G Benditt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Vasodepressor Cough Syncope. Cough syncope is classified among the neural-reflex "situational" faints, but whether the clinical consequences in affected individuals result from reflex triggered brad-yarrhythmia or vasodepressor-induced hypotension, or both, is often unknown. In this report we describe findings in a patient with a clinical history consistent with cough syncope, and in whom documented multiple asystolic spells were at first believed to be responsible for symptoms. However, pacemaker therapy initiated at an outside facility failed to suppress symptoms, and subsequent referral for more detailed autonomic study revealed the asystole to be due to sleep apnea, whereas cough-induced vasodepressor hypotension was the basis of syncope in this individual; the latter provided a pathophysiologic target for prevention of recurring symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1024-1027
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of cardiovascular electrophysiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Asystole
  • Cough syncope
  • Pacemaker
  • Sleep apnea


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