We observed 2 cases of repeated episodes of syncope after alcohol ingestion. Both patients were light drinkers and had carotid sinus hypersensitivity. In both cases, alcohol loading tests repeatedly induced sinus bradycardia and hypotension 1.0-1.5 hours after drinking alcohol. Atropine was effective in improving symptoms. A loading test using a glucose solution of equivalent osmolarity and volume was negative. Acute alcohol ingestion usually increases heart rate with variable effects on blood pressure. However, our 2 cases exhibited unusual alcohol-induced sinus bradycardia and hypotension, suggesting a paradoxical increase in parasympathetic activity and/or decrease in sympathetic activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine