Common Abbreviations Used in the Dysautonomia Community

Being newly diagnosed with a type of dysautonomia can be overwhelming. Besides having to learn about your diagnosis and the best ways to treat it, you may see a lot of confusing medical lingo being used by medical professionals and fellow patients in support groups.

This list is intended to help you take better control of your health care by providing you with the meanings of some of the most commonly used abbreviations and acronyms in your medical records, on doctor’s notes, prescriptions, test results, in medical books or articles, in forums, or in support groups.



AAG – Autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy

AAI – Atlantoaxial instability

AAN – Autoimmune autonomic neuropathy

Abs/aabs – Antibodies or autoantibodies      

ACE – Angiotension converting enzyme

ACh – Acetylcholine

AChE – Acetylcholinesterase

AChR  – Acetylcholine receptor

ACTH – Adrenocorticotropic hormone

ADH – Antidiuretic hormone

ADHD – Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

ADL – Activity of daily living

AE – Autoimmune encephalitis

AF – Atrial fibrillation

AI – Autoimmune

ANA – Antinuclear antibody

ANS – Autonomic nervous system

APS – Antiphospholipid syndrome


BB – Beta blocker

BID/bid – Taking a medication twice a day

BM – Bowel movement

BP – Blood pressure

BPM – Beats per minute

Bx – Biopsy


C3 – Complement component 3

C4 – Complement component 4

CCI – Craniocervical Instability

CFS – Chronic fatigue syndrome

CIDP – Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy

CMT – Charcot Marie Tooth disease

CNS – Central nervous system

COPD – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

CPAP – Continuous positive airway pressure

CRP – C-reactive protein

CRPS – Complex regional pain syndrome

CSF – Cerebrospinal fluid

CVID – Common variable immune deficiency

CVS – Cyclic vomiting syndrome


D5W – Dextrose 5% in water

DBHD – Dopamine beta hydroxylase deficiency

DBP – Diastolic blood pressure

Dx – Diagnosis

DVT – Deep venous thrombosis

dsDNA – Double stranded DNA autoantibodies


Echo – Echocardiogram

EDS – Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

EEG – Electroencephalogram

EKG/ECG – Electrocardiogram

EMG – Electromyogram

EP – Electrophysiologist


FD – Familial dysautonomia

FMS – Fibromyalgia


g-AChR autoantibody – Ganglionic acetylcholine receptor autoantibody

GBS – Guillain Barre syndrome

GI – Gastrointestinal

GP – Gastroparesis, or general practitioner (depending on context)


HR – Heart rate

Hup A – Huperzine A

HA – Headache

HTN – Hypertension

HUT/HUTT – Head up tilt (aka TTT)

Hx – History


IBD – Inflammatory bowel disease

IBS – Irritable bowel syndrome

ICD – Implantable cardioverter defibrillator

IM – Intramuscular

IST – Inappropriate sinus tachycardia

IV – Intravenous

IVIG – Intravenous immunoglobulin


JHS – Joint hypermobility syndrome


LDN – Low dose naltrexone

LEMS – Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome

LLMD – Lyme literate medical doctor

LR – Lactated ringers


MALS – Median arcuate ligament syndrome

MCTD – Mixed connective tissue disease

ME – Myalgic encephalomyelitis (aka CFS)

MG – Myasthenia gravis

MS – Multiple sclerosis

MSA – Multiple system atrophy

MTHFR – Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase

MVP – Mitral valve prolapse


NCS – Neurocardiogenic syncope or nerve conduction study (depending on context)

NE – Norepinephrine/noradrenaline

NET – Norepinephrine transporter

NG – Naso-gastric tube

NJ – Naso-jejunal tube

NMH – Neurally mediated hypotension

nOH – Neurogenic orthostatic hypotension

NS – Neurosurgeon or normal saline (depending on context)

NSAID – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


OH – Orthostatic hypotension

OI – Orthostatic intolerance


PAF – Pure autonomic failure

PANS – Pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome

PANDAS – Pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcal infections

PCP – Primary care physician

PFT – Pulmonary function tests

Po – By mouth

POTS – Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome

PP – Pulse pressure

PPI – Proton pump inhibitor

PRN/prn – Taking medication as needed

PT – Physical therapy

Pt – Patient

PTSD – Post traumatic stress disorder


QD/qd – Once a day

QID/qid – Four times a day

QOL – Quality of life

QSART – Quantitative sudomotor axon reflex test

QST – Quantitative sensory testing


RA – Rheumatoid arthritis

RAS – Renin aldosterone system

RDS – Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (aka CRPS)

Rx – Prescription


SBP – Systolic blood pressure

SCIG – Subcutaneous immunoglobulin

SERT – Serotonin Transporter

SFN – Small fiber neuropathy

SIBO – Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

Sl – Sublingual

SLE – Systemic lupus erythematosus

SOB – Short of breath

SubQ – Subcutaneous

SCIG – Subcutaneous immunoglobulin

SS – Sjogren’s syndrome

SS-A – Anti-Ro autoantibodies (Sjogren’s autoantibodies)

SS-B – Anti-La autoantibodies (Sjogren’s autoantibodies)

SSc – Systemic sclerosis

SSRI – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor

SNRI – selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor

SVT – Supraventricular tachycardia

Sx – Symptoms


TID/tid – three times a day

TMJ – Tempomandibular joint

TPN – Total parenteral nutrition

TST – Thermoregulatory sweat test

TTT – Tilt table test

Tx – Treatment


UCTD – Undifferentiated connective tissue disease

UTI – Urinary tract infection


VNS – Vagus nerve stimulation

VVS – Vasovagal syncope


WPW – Wolf-Parkinson-White

Special thanks to Emily, Shane, Jonathan, Natasha, Irina, Lauren and everyone else who contributed to this list!

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