This study, reported in Clinical Cardiology (July 2008), found that a considerable number of ME/CFS patients have a small heart.”Small heart syndrome may contribute to the development of CFS as a constitutional factor predisposing to fatigue, and may be included in the genesis of CFS.”
Small heart syndrome has previously been reported as neurocirculatory asthenia, associated with a small heart shadow on a chest roentgenogram. This is characterized as weakness or fatigue even after ordinary exertion, palpitation, dyspnea, and fainting, resembling patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Small heart syndrome may be prevalent in patients with CFS.
The study population consisted of 56 patients (<50 y of age) with CFS, and 38 control subjects. Chest roentgenographic, echocardiographic, and physical examinations were performed.
Small heart syndrome (cardiothoracic ratio In CFS patients with a small heart (number = 34 of 56)…
- Narrow chest (88%),
- Orthostatic dizziness (44%) [owing to fall in blood pressure upon rising from prone to standing position, for example],
- Foot coldness (41%),
- Pretibial pitting edema (32%) [swelling over the shin that leaves a dent when pressed and released]
- r-kidney palpability (47%) [perceivable by touch]
- And mitral valve prolapse (29%) [doesnt close snugly]…
Were all significantly more prevalent than in the control group – and also in the CFS patients without small heart syndrome
Echocardiographic examination demonstrated significantly smaller values of both the left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic dimensions and end-systolic, and stroke volume and cardiac indexes in CFS with a small heart, as compared with control subjects with a normal heart size (42% < cardiothoracic ratio < 50%).
Thanks to Personal Plug for including this post in their blog carnival.