Describe the physiology of a vasovagal syncope
Generally, there was a lack of knowledge about this topic with many candidates confusing
vasovagal syncope with a Valsalva or orthostatic hypotension. A “vasovagal” is from excessive
autonomic reflex activity in contrast to orthostatic hypotension which is a failure of the
autonomic reflex response.
A good place to start was with a description of vasovagal syncope, also known as
neurocardiogenic syncope. It is benign, self-limiting and caused by an abnormal or exaggerated
autonomic response to various stimuli (which should have been listed). The mechanism should
have been described including the various receptors involved.