Diagnosis of Overtraining Syndrome: Results of the Endocrine and Metabolic Responses on Overtraining Syndrome Study: EROS-DIAGNOSIS

J Sports Med (Hindawi Publ Corp). 2020 Apr 22;2020:3937819. doi: 10.1155/2020/3937819. eCollection 2020.


Objectives: Overtraining syndrome (OTS), a common dysfunction among elite athletes, causes decreased performance and fatigue and has no standardized diagnostic criteria. The Endocrine and Metabolic Responses on Overtraining Syndrome (EROS) study identified more than 45 potential biomarkers of OTS. In the present study, we hypothesized that combinations of these biomarkers could be an accurate diagnostic tool for OTS.

Methods: We selected parameters with largest difference and fewest overlapping results compared to healthy athletes and highest feasibility and reproducibility. Among the multiple combinations attempted, we chose those that did not show overlapping results, according to the objective.

Results: We included 11 clinical parameters, 4 basal hormones, and 5 hormonal responses in Insulin Tolerance Test (ITT). The three selected diagnostic tools were the (i) EROS-CLINICAL, with only clinical parameters, which was suitable as an initial assessment for athletes suspected of OTS; (ii) EROS-SIMPLIFIED, with clinical parameters and basal hormones, when the EROS-CLINICAL was inconclusive; and (iii) EROS-COMPLETE, with basal and hormonal responses to stimulation tests, which was valuable for population-based screening, research purposes, and unusual presentations of OTS.

Conclusion: We identified innovative tools with 100% accuracy for the diagnosis of OTS, without the need to exclude confounding disorders.