Examination of urine sediment by the hyman method does not identify individuals with Gulf War syndrome

P. M. Southern, S. J. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the military involvement in the Persian Gulf area, there has been a growing number of veterans (GWV) from that theater of operations with a variety of unexplained physical complaints. This has collectively been called the Gulf War Veterans Syndrome (GWVS), or similar names. Both medical and lay press, as well as public debate, have dealt with the issue. Among other studies that have been performed, Hyman has developed a method of examining urinary sediment in an effort to identify non-culturable bacteria, has used it in GWV, and has used intensive antimicrobial therapy in many of them (Biotechnic & Histochemistry 1992;67:1-8, and unpublished data). We evaluated a group of 8 GWV with complaints compatible with GWVS. Subjects were from various parts of the USA. A detailed history and physical examination was performed. Urine was obtained before and after prostatic massage (or two specimens 30 min. apart in females), and tested by the method of Hyman, as well as by culture and conventional Gram stain. Age and sex matched healthy controls were tested similarly and concurrently. Two GWV (female) had findings of C. albicans and K. pneumoniae, respectively, by conventional culture, Gram stain and Hyman method. All other GWV and controls were indistinguishable. We concluded that the urinary sediment method of Hyman does not differentiate individuals with GWVS from normal controls. We thank The Perot Group for generous support of this project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12A
JournalJournal of Investigative Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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