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Impaired oxygen delivery to muscle in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

  [ 31 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • November 12, 1999


The purpose of this study was to determine if chronic fatigue
syndrome (CFS) is associated with reduced oxygen delivery to
muscles. Patients with CFS according to CDC (Center for
Disease Control) criteria (n=20) were compared with normal
sedentary subjects (n=12). Muscle oxygen delivery was measured
as the rate of post-exercise and post-ischaemia oxygen-haem
resaturation. Oxygen-haem resaturation was measured in the
medial gastrocnemius muscle using continuous-wavelength
near-IR spectroscopy. Phosphocreatine resynthesis was measured
simultaneously using (31)P magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

The time constant of oxygen delivery was significantly reduced
in CFS patients after exercise (46.5+/-16 s; mean+/-S.D.)
compared with that in controls (29.4+/-6.9 s). The time
constant of oxygen delivery was also reduced (20.0+/-12 s)
compared with controls (12.0+/-2.8 s) after cuff ischaemia.
Oxidative metabolism was also reduced by 20% in CFS patients,
and a significant correlation was found between oxidative
metabolism and recovery of oxygen delivery. In conclusion,
oxygen delivery was reduced in CFS patients compared with that
in sedentary controls. This result is consistent with previous
studies showing abnormal autonomic control of blood flow.

Reduced oxidative delivery in CFS patients could be
specifically related to CFS, or could be a non-specific effect
of reduced activity levels in these patients. While these
results suggest that reduced oxygen delivery could result in
reduced oxidative metabolism and muscle fatigue, further
studies will be needed to address this issue.

McCully KK, Natelson BH




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