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Chest. 1993 Nov;104(5):1417-21.

Repetitively negative changing T waves at 24-h electrocardiographic monitors in patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome. Left ventricular dysfunction in a cohort.

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Wayne State University School of Medicine, Royal Oak, Mich.


This study surveys the occurrence of repetitively negative to flat T waves, alternating with normal upright T waves in 24-h electrocardiographic recordings from a subspecialty infectious diseases outpatient practice during the years 1982 to 1990. Patients with normal resting electrocardiogram in the assayed leads, but with repetitively inverted to isoelectric abnormal T waves at Holter monitors, were considered to have abnormal readings. A total of 300 patients had undergone a 24-h Holter monitor. This group included 24 individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). This population was restricted to individuals 50 years old or younger, and the patients with CFS are compared with the patients without CFS. One of the more striking differences between the two groups was the difference in abnormal Holter readings. The patients with CFS all had abnormal Holter readings, while 22.4 percent patients without CFS had abnormal readings (p < 0.01). We further report the occurrence of mild left ventricular dysfunction in 8 of 60 patients in continuing studies of this population with CFS, younger than 50 years old, and with no risk factors for coronary artery disease. All 60 patients with CFS showed repetitively flat to inverted T waves alternating with normal T waves. Stress multiple gated acquisitions (MUGAs) (labeled erythrocytes with stannous pyrophosphate) were abnormal in eight patients with CFS. Although resting ejection fractions (EFs) were normal (mean, 60 percent), with increasing work loads (Kilopon meters [Kpms]), gross left ventricular dysfunction occurred. The fatigue of patients with CFS may be related to subtle cardiac dysfunction occurring at work loads common to ordinary living.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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