Author + information
- Received February 2, 2005
- Revision received May 31, 2005
- Accepted June 6, 2005
- Published online October 4, 2005.
- Victoria E. Claydon, PhD⁎ ( and )
- Roger Hainsworth, MB, PhD, DSc
- ↵⁎Reprint requests and correspondence:
Dr. Victoria E. Claydon, Institute for Cardiovascular Research, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, United Kingdom
Objectives This study sought to evaluate postural sway in control subjects with good and poor orthostatic tolerance (OT).
Background Some asymptomatic volunteers, when subjected to a progressive orthostatic stress test, show early presyncope. We hypothesized that normal subjects with poor OT do not usually faint because they adopt a strategy of increased lower limb movement, which helps maintain venous return.
Methods In 12 asymptomatic subjects with good OT and 11 with poor OT, assessed by the combined orthostatic stress of head-up tilting and lower body suction, we determined postural sway using a force platform after 1, 5, and 10 min of motionless standing.
Results The subjects with poor tolerance had greater distances and velocities of sway in the anteroposterior direction but not the mediolateral direction. There was a significant negative correlation between postural sway and orthostatic tolerance.
Conclusions We have shown that in normal subjects with poor OT during a passive orthostatic stress test, their leg movements tend to be greater when standing. These movements are likely to enhance venous return and may at least partly explain why, despite their poor test results, they do not normally faint.
- Received February 2, 2005.
- Revision received May 31, 2005.
- Accepted June 6, 2005.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation