Laughter-induced syncope is an unusual but recognized form of situational syncope (fainting) likely to have a similar pathophysiological origin to tussive syncope. One reported case occurred while a patient was watching the television show Seinfeld, and was given the name Seinfeld syncope.
There are few case reports of this syndrome in the literature. Patients, as in this case, might present initially to the ED, and laughter should be considered among the numerous differentials for syncope.
Laughter-induced syncope should not be confused with cataplexy, a sudden loss of muscle tone triggered by strong emotions, particularly laughter. Unlike syncope, there is no loss of consciousness in cataplexy, which affects some sufferers of narcolepsy.
To date there have been few cases of laughter-induced syncope documented in medical literature.
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- Bloomfield and Jazrawi; Jazrawi, S (2005). "Shear Hilarity Leading to Laugh Syncope in a Healthy Man". Journal of the American Medical Association. 293 (23): 2863–2864. doi:10.1001/jama.293.23.2863-b. PMID 15956630.
- S. Braga; R. Manni; R. Pedretti (August 2005). "Laughter-induced syncope". The Lancet. 366 (9483): 426–426. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67027-4.
- Matthew J Bragg (2006). "Fall about laughing: A case of laughter syncope". Emergency Medicine Australasia. 18 (5–6): 518–519. doi:10.1111/j.1742-6723.2006.00877.x. PMID 17083645.
- Roland D. Thijs, Wouter Wieling, Horacio Kaufmann, and Gert van Dijk1 (2004-10-11). "Defining and classifying syncope". Clinical Autonomic Research. Steinkopff. 14 (1): i4–i8. doi:10.1007/s10286-004-1002-4. PMID 15480929.
- C. Mathias; K. Deguchi; I. Schatz (2001). "Observations on recurrent syncope and presyncope in 641 patients". The Lancet. 357 (9253): 348–353. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(00)03642-4. PMID 11210997.
- Lois E. Krahn; James F. Lymp; Wendy R. Moore; Nancy Slocumb; Michael H. Silber (2003-06-05). "Characterizing the Emotions That Trigger Cataplexy". Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. American Psychiatric Press, Inc. 17: 45–50.
- A. KENNEDY (2004). "Non-epileptic causes of loss of consciousness". Medicine. 32 (9): 15–17. doi:10.1383/medc.126.96.36.199910.
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