Medical Dictionary

Stokes–Adams syndrome

noun Stokes–Ad·ams syndrome \ˌstōks-ˈad-əmz-\
variants: or

Stokes–Adams attack


Stokes–Adams disease

Medical Definition of Stokes–Adams syndrome

  1. :  fainting induced by complete heart block with a pulse rate of 40 beats per minute or less 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 edition, 2001 This problem led to potentially fatal fainting spells, known as Stokes-Adams attacks.—Lawrence K. Altman, The New York Times, 27 Oct. 1998—called also Adams-Stokes attack, Adams-Stokes disease, Adams-Stokes syndrome

Biographical Note for stokes–adams syndrome




(1804–1878), British physician. Stokes produced more than 140 books and articles, covering such medical topics as intestinal disorders, mediastinal tumors, hydrocephalus, cerebrospinal meningitis, cancer of the mouth, and sarcoma of the scrotum. His most important works were concerned with diseases of the chest, heart, and aorta. His book Diseases of the Chest (1837) was the first treatise on the subject in modern medicine. His 1846 description of heart block, described previously by Giovanni Morgagni and later by Robert Adams, was a classic, detailed description that was based on case histories from several sources. In 1854 Stokes used John Cheyne's observations on respiration as a point of departure and wrote an extended description of the condition now known as Cheyne-Stokes respiration.




(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.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Stokes–Adams syndrome? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to cast off or become cast off

Get Word of the Day daily email!