Definition and classification of transient loss of consciousness

Ludovico Furlan, Giorgio Costantino, Monica Solbiati, Paolo Alboni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Consciousness is defined as the ability to maintain awareness of self and of the environment. Unconsciousness is a condition in which this ability is lost and there is a marked reduced responsiveness to environmental stimuli (Adams et al. Principles of neurology, 6th edn. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1997, pp 344—345). Loss of consciousness (LOC) can last briefly and resolve with no clinical intervention, be prolonged until a specific cause is treated and then be followed by a complete recovery or neurological symptoms, or sustain indefinitely. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence defines transient loss of consciousness (T-LOC) as a brief and spontaneous loss of consciousness with complete recovery (Cooper et al., Ann Intern Med 155:543—549, 2001). The purpose of this chapter is to describe briefly the causes of transient loss of consciousness and then more thoroughly the possible aetiologies of syncope.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVasovagal Syncope
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9783319091020, 9783319091013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Classification
  • Syncope
  • T-Loc
  • Transient Loss Of Consciousness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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