Abstract: Fractal analysis and recurrence quantification analysis of heart rate and pulse transit time for diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome

Clin Auton Res 2002 Aug;12(4):264-72  Naschitz JE, Sabo E, Naschitz S, Rosner I, Rozenbaum M, Priselac RM, Gaitini L, Zukerman E, Yeshurun D.  Department of Internal Medicine A, Bnai Zion Medical Center, Haifa 31048, P. O. Box 4940, Israel. naschitz@tx.technion.ac.il

This study aimed to develop a method to distinguish between the cardiovascular reactivity in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and other patient populations. Patients with CFS (n = 23), familial Mediterranean fever (n = 15), psoriatic arthritis (n = 10), generalized anxiety disorder (n = 12), neurally mediated syncope (n = 20), and healthy subjects (n = 20) were evaluated with a shortened head-up tilt test (HUTT).

A 10-minute supine phase of the HUTT was followed by recording 600 cardiac cycles on tilt, i. e., 5 to 10 minutes. Beat-to-beat heart rate (HR) and pulse transit time (PTT) were acquisitioned. Data were processed by recurrence plot and fractal analysis. Fifty-two variables were calculated in each subject. On multivariate analysis, the best predictors of CFS were HR-tilt-R/L, PTT-tilt-R/L, HR-supine-DET, PTT-tilt-WAVE, and HR-tilt-SD.

Based on these predictors, the 'Fractal & Recurrence Analysis-based Score' (FRAS) was calculated: FRAS = 76.2 + 0.04*HR-supine-DET – 12.9*HR-tilt-R/L – 0.31*HR-tilt-SD – 19.27*PTT-tilt-R/L – 9.42* PTT-tilt-WAVE. The best cut-off differentiating CFS from the control population was FRAS = + 0.22. FRAS > + 0.22 was associated with CFS (sensitivity 70 % and specificity 88 %). The cardiovascular reactivity received mathematical expression with the aid of the FRAS. The shortened HUTT was well tolerated. The FRAS provides objective criteria which could become valuable in the assessment of CFS.

PMID: 12357280 [PubMed – in process]

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