Episode 88 – RLR – Transient Loss of Consciousness

Episode description

Reza and Rabih talk through a case

RLR #4 – Transient loss of consciousness 
A 43-year-old man with a history of epilepsy, coronary artery disease, and pulmonary sarcoidosis presented after experiencing an unheralded transient loss of consciousness. His initial evaluation revealed no abnormalities. Ambulatory cardiac event monitoring demonstrated an episode of complete heart block, and myocardial perfusion imaging showed a focal perfusion defect in the left ventricle (thought to represent a prior myocardial infarction versus sarcoidosis). He underwent pacemaker and implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD) placement and was discharged home.

Teaching Point:

  • Small-cell lung cancer(SCLC) is a primary pulmonary malignancy of epithelial origin that most commonly occurs in older patients with long-standing smoking histories. Clinically, it typically presents aggressively with pulmonary symptoms (e.g., cough, dyspnea, hemoptysis), manifestations related to intra- or extra-thoracic spread, or with a variety of paraneoplastic syndromes (e.g., endocrine, dermatologic, neurologic). Prognosis is poor, with median survival without treatment being 2-4 months.
  • Sarcoidosis is a multisystem granulomatous disease that most often affects the lungs, skin, and eyes.Cardiac manifestationsof sarcoidosis include arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, sudden cardiac death, and, rarely, coronary artery vasculitis. Diagnosis can be made by endomyocardial biopsy or with compatible imaging findings (e.g., delayed gadolinium enhancement on cardiac MRI) or cardiac manifestations (e.g., complete heart block, ventricular arrhythmias, or otherwise unexplained heart failure) in a patient with known extra-cardiac sarcoidosis.