Laughter-induced syncope is an unusual but recognized form of situational syncope (fainting) likely to have a similar pathophysiological origin to tussive syncope. One case report occurred while 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.
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. PMID15480929.
Lois E. Krahn, James F. Lymp, Wendy R. Moore, Nancy Slocumb, and Michael H. Silber (2003-06-05). "Characterizing the Emotions That Trigger Cataplexy". Journal of Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci (American Psychiatric Press, Inc.) 17: 45–50.