Introduction: Approximately 50% of patients discharged from the Emergency Department (ED) after syncope have no cause found. Long-term outcomes among syncope patients are not well studied, to guide physicians regarding outpatient testing and follow-up. The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic review for long-term (one year) outcomes among ED patients with syncope. We aim to use the results of this review to guide us in prospective analysis of one year outcomes with our large database of syncope patients. Methods: We searched Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline and Medline in Process, PubMed, Embase, and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) from the inception to June, 2017. We included studies that reported long-term outcomes among adult ED patients (16 years or older) with syncope. We excluded studies on pediatric patients, and studies that included syncope mimickers: pre-syncope, seizure, intoxication, loss of consciousness after head trauma. We also excluded case reports, letters to the editor and review articles. Outcomes included death, syncope recurrence requiring hospitalization, arrhythmias and procedural interventions for arrhythmias. We selected articles based on title and abstract review during phase-1 and conducted full article review during phase-2. Meta-analysis was performed by pooling the outcomes using random effects model (RevMan v.5.3; Cochrane Collaboration). Results: Initial literature search generated 2094 articles after duplicate removal. 50 articles remained after phase-1 (=0.85) and 16 articles were included in the systematic review after phase-2 (=0.86). The 16 included studies enrolled a total of 44,755 patients. Pooled analysis at 1-year follow-up showed the following outcomes: 7% mortality; 14% recurrence of syncope requiring hospitalization; one study reported that 0.6% of patients had a pacemaker inserted; and two studies reported 0.8 11.5% of patients suffered new arrhythmias. Conclusion: An important proportion of ED patients with syncope suffer outcomes at 1-year. Appropriate follow-up is needed to prevent long-term adverse outcomes. Further prospective research to identify patients at risk for long-term important cardiac outcomes and death is needed.
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