We are delighted to announce that an established team of syncope specialists has been appointed at Royal Brompton Hospital. The team offer a dedicated service with comprehensive diagnostic tilt testing.
Syncope (fainting) is the leading cause of collapse and transient loss, or near loss, of consciousness. Although the outlook is excellent for most people, the condition can cause severe distress in many patients, often leading to social isolation with profound affects on patients’ working lives.
The team of syncope specialists is lead by Dr Tushar Salukhe, consultant cardiologist and electrophysiologist. The team has been working together for the last decade under the tutelage of the service founder and world authority in vasovagal syncope, emeritus Professor Richard Sutton. Vasovagal syncope occurs when you faint because your body overreacts to certain triggers, such as the sight of blood or extreme emotional distress. It may also be called neurocardiogenic syncope. The vasovagal syncope trigger causes the heart rate and blood pressure to drop suddenly.
In addition to syncope and the related postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), Dr Salukhe specialises in the care and treatment of patients with cardiac arrhythmias, including advanced mapping and ablation and implantation of complex cardiac devices including defibrillators and biventricular pacemakers. Patients are offered comprehensive and tailored care, thanks to Dr Salukhe's combined set of skills and the expertise of the team’s dedicated specialist nurses.
The syndrome of syncope and presyncope (near-loss of consciousness) is complex. There are several neurocardiovascular reflex mechanisms at play, which eventually culminate in a transient cessation (or reduction) in cerebral blood flow causing syncope. The predominance of one mechanism over another varies tremendously between individuals.
Tilt testing, using protocols established and validated within the service, offer very sensitive means for diagnosis and management planning. Tilt testing is an invaluable tool for tailoring treatment to the patient, whether it is through simple behavioural modification, specialist medication or even pacemaker therapy. As it is a day-case procedure, it does not require any invasive monitoring or admission to hospital. The entire examination lasts about an hour.
Dr Salukhe specialises in cardiac electrophysiology and cardiac devices at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. He is also an honorary senior lecturer at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London.