American College of Physicians

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Released April 4, 2012

In the evaluation of simple syncope and a normal neurological examination, don’t obtain brain imaging studies (CT or MRI).

In patients with witnessed syncope but with no suggestion of seizure and no report of other neurologic symptoms or signs, the likelihood of a central nervous system (CNS) cause of the event is extremely low and patient outcomes are not improved with brain imaging studies.

These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.


2010 ACR-ASNR CT of the brain guideline; 2010 NICE transient loss of consciousness guideline; 2000 ECS syncope guideline.