How is fainting diagnosed?
Diagnosis of fainting starts with a medical history and physical exam. This may be all that is needed to make the diagnosis and determine the cause. The most important job of the cardiologist is to determine whether a patient's complaint of syncope and / or dizziness has a life threatening cause. An electrocardiogram (ECG) will often be done to screen for heart rhythm abnormalities. Occasionally, other tests will be performed including a Holter monitor, ambulatory event monitor, echocardiogram, graded exercise test (GXT), and / or electroencephalogram (EEG). In addition, some patients will undergo a tilt table study. During this test, the patient is strapped to a table and tilted to a near standing position in an effort to provoke the common, non-life threatening form of syncope.