Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Autonomic Function Test Results

I love it when I get tests done at the local medical school and they give me access to the results online, often before I see the ordering physician.

In this case, I'll see the neuromuscular neurologist late tomorrow afternoon, but I was able to read the autonomic function test results today.

Most of the test results were within normal parameters, including, apparently, that valsalva maneuver that made me think my head was going to explode. (Really? It's supposed to feel like that?!)

But the tilt-table test was definitely wacky.

I typically have low blood pressure. In fact, sometimes it's too low. Generally, as long as I'm 90/60 or higher, I'm OK. But times when it's running lower, I run into trouble. 

During the autonomic function testing, I noticed that early on, my blood pressure was on the low side, but I figured it was because I was lying down. And running 87/55 wasn't that low compared with my normal.

I know it spiked quite a bit during the valsalva maneuver, but I guess that's normal. 

What wasn't so normal was the way it spiked on the tilt-table test. 

According to the test results, my blood pressure went from 117/75 (I hadn't gotten quite down to normal after that damn valsalva maneuver) to 185/155. My heart rate, which went from being consistently normal before I got sick to running high all the time essentially overnight, jumped from 106 to 181. 

No wonder I was wondering if anyone ever died of an aneurysm! It may have been the longest six minutes I've ever had. 

I wasn't surprised that my heart rate spiked. That's what happened when I had the test two years ago. But last time, my blood pressure stayed about steady. I think it dropped slightly, if I'm recalling correctly. 

So I'm not sure what it means that I previously had orthostatic hypotension and now I apparently have orthostatic hypertension. But it's pretty clear that I definitely still qualify for that dysautonomia diagnosis.

Fwiw, the conclusion on the report was, "This is an abnormal autonomic function testing. The patient has exaggerated increase in the blood pressure and heart rate during the tilt table test suggestive of sympathetic

It will be interesting to see what the doctor has to say about it tomorrow. 

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