Objective: Vasovagal syncope (VVS) is a clinical syndrome that is characterized by a transient loss of consciousness and postural tone that are due to a temporary, spontaneously self-terminating global cerebral hypoperfusion. It is known that personality modulates the individual's sensitivity to stressors and that emotional arousal and psychologic uncertainty are conditions that contribute to vasodepressor syncope. Therefore, it is postulated that the personality characteristics of VVS patients could play a role in the pathophysiology of VVS. The aim of our study was to evaluate the temperament and character personality dimensions in patients with VVS as confirmed by nitrate-induced tilt testing.Methods: From the 450 consecutive patients referred to our Syncope Unit for transient loss of consciousness, we enrolled 162 patients who had positive results from the head up tilt test for VVS and 162 healthy subjects matched for age and sex. All patients underwent a structured clinical interview with a psychologist to exclude the presence of current psychiatric comorbidities and were asked to complete the Cloninger's Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised (TCI-R) questionnaire for psychological assessment.Results: Compared to healthy subjects, both male and female patients with VVS were found to have higher scores of the persistence temperament and self-transcendence character traits. Moreover, male VVS patients had lower scores in "novelty seeking", while female VVS patients scored significantly higher in "reward dependence".Conclusion: Our data show that VVS patients significantly differ from matched healthy controls in some temperament and character personality dimensions. Cardiologists should consider referral for psychological assessment when treating patients with refractory VVS. (C) 2017 Hellenic Society of Cardiology. Publishing services by Elsevier B.V.
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