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Recurrent blackouts in a 36-year-old woman
  1. Vishal Luther1,
  2. Kevin Leong1,
  3. Amanda Varnava2
  1. 1Department of Cardiology, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Cardiology, St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Vishal Luther, Department of Cardiology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Hammersmith Hospital, 150 Du-Cane Road, London W12 0HS, UK; vluther{at}

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A 36-year-old woman was referred to our neurological and cardiological services with recurrent blackouts. She was diagnosed at age 6 with nocturnal generalised tonic-clonic seizures, which settled by age 13 with Carbamazepine. During adulthood, her seizures were thought to have recurred, but now occurred upon rising up from bed and were preceded by palpitations, breathlessness and light-headedness. Having passed out, she would often bite her cheek, lose urinary continence and was seen to convulse. Upon termination, she would recover rapidly without a clear postictal phase. Our patient's grandmother died suddenly of an unknown cause at age 44.

Neurological investigations showed a normal EEG and …

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  • Contributors VL wrote the initial draft of part 1, and KL wrote the initial draft of part 2. VL and KL formatted the figures. AV edited the drafts ready for submission. AV is the supervising consultant and responsible for the overall content as guarantor.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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