Witnessing loss of consciousness during TMS - Syncope in contrast to seizure

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftFallbericht (Case report)BeigetragenBegutachtung


Objective: Transient loss of consciousness (T-LOC) can occur during transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). T-LOC during TMS can be caused by syncope or seizure. TMS operators explicitly screen participants and are also able to witness clinical manifestations of T-LOC during stimulation. Therefore they have direct access to information necessary to tell the two etiologies apart, if they are well trained on the clinical differences and not only sensitive to the potential risk of seizure induction. We here present a typical case of vasovagal syncope during TMS to contrast its clinical manifestations to that of seizures.Method: We describe an event of T-LOC in a 21 year old healthy woman during single-pulse TMS. Screening, setting, clinical manifestations and advanced diagnostics are reported.Discussion: Based on the detailed description of the case, we discuss why syncope is the most parsimonious etiology for the clinical picture observed in this participant. We provide information on typical clinical features of seizure that were particularly not observed. We also address potential benefits of further diagnostic tools. Additionally, we go into more parameters that can be useful to distinguish syncope from seizure.Conclusion: TMS operators should be well aware of the differentiation of T-LOC in syncopal or ictal in etiology, because they witness T-LOC during TMS. By presenting a typical case of vasovagal syncope during TMS the report in hand provides necessary information and literature to do so. (C) 2016 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology.


Seiten (von - bis)58-61
FachzeitschriftClinical neurophysiology practice : CNP : official organ of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2016

Externe IDs

Scopus 84997172256
ORCID /0000-0002-1005-0090/work/142658624
ORCID /0000-0001-9298-2125/work/143074519
ORCID /0000-0001-5398-5569/work/150329476
WOS 000574826800013



  • Adverse-event, Case-report, Seizure, Syncope, T-loc, Tms