Abstract: The head-up tilt test with haemodynamic instability score in diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome

QJM 2003 Feb;96(2):133-142

Naschitz JE, Rosner I, Rozenbaum M, Naschitz S, Musafia-Priselac R, Shaviv N, Fields M, Isseroff H, Zuckerman E, Yeshurun D, Sabo E.

Departments of Internal Medicine A and. Rheumatology, Bnai Zion Medical Center and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.

BACKGROUND:Studying patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), we have developed a method that uses a head-up tilt test (HUTT) to estimate BP and HR instability during tilt, expressed as a ‘haemodynamic instability score’ (HIS).

Aim: To assess HIS sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of CFS.

DESIGN:Prospective controlled study.

METHODS:Patients with CFS (n=40), non-CFS chronic fatigue (n=73), fibromyalgia (n=41), neurally mediated syncope (n=58), generalized anxiety disorder (n=28), familial Mediterranean fever (n=50), arterial hypertension (n=28), and healthy subjects (n=59) were evaluated with a standardized head-up tilt test (HUTT). The HIS was calculated from blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) changes during the HUTT.

RESULTS:The tilt was prematurely terminated in 22% of CFS patients when postural symptoms occurred and the HIS could not be calculated. In the remainder, the median(IQR) HIS values were: CFS +2.14(4.67), non-CFS fatigue -3.98(5.35), fibromyalgia -2.81(2.62), syncope -3.7(4.36), generalized anxiety disorder -0.21(6.05), healthy controls -2.66(3.14), FMF -5.09(6.41), hypertensives -5.35(2.74) (p-0.98 cut-off was 90.3% and the overall specificity was 84.5%.

DISCUSSION:There is a particular dysautonomia in CFS that differs from dysautonomia in other disorders, characterized by HIS >-0.98. The HIS can reinforce the clinician’s diagnosis by providing objective criteria for the assessment of CFS, which until now, could only be subjectively inferred.

PMID: 12589011 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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