Medical Dictionary

Stokes-Adams syndrome

noun Stokes-Ad·ams syndrome \ ˌstōks-ˈad-əmz- \
variants: or Stokes-Adams attack or Stokes-Adams disease

medical Definition of Stokes-Adams syndrome

:fainting induced by complete heart block with a pulse rate of 40 beats per minute or less
Note: Fainting episodes are typically recurrent and marked by fairly quick recovery. Loss of consciousness in Stokes-Adams syndrome results from reduced blood flow and is sometimes accompanied by seizures.
  • Patients with intermittent third-degree AV [atrioventricular] block often experience syncopal episodes, called the Stokes-Adams syndrome
  • —Arnold M. Katz, Physiology of the Heart, 4th edition2001
  • This problem led to potentially fatal fainting spells, known as Stokes-Adams attacks.
  • —Lawrence K. AltmanThe New York Times27 Oct. 1998
called also Adams-Stokes attack, Adams-Stokes disease, Adams-Stokes syndrome

Biographical Note for stokes-adams syndrome

  • Adams, Robert (1791–1875), British physician. Adams enjoyed a high reputation as a surgeon and specialist in pathological anatomy. He practiced medicine at several Dublin hospitals. His most important scientific contributions were made in cardiology and the autopsies of patients suffering from various cardiac disorders. He associated cerebral symptoms and slowing of the pulse with cardiac disease. This phenomenon had been noted earlier by Morgagni and would be confirmed later by William Stokes. Adams published his monograph on diseases of the heart in 1827.

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