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Biochemical changes in relation to a maximal exercise test in patients with fibromyalgia (FM)

  [ 21 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • March 3, 1994

Patients with fibromyalgia often complain of fatigue and pain during
exercise and of worsening of pain days after exercise. The aim
of the study described here was to determine if abnormal
changes in potassium or lactate could be observed during an
exercise test in fibromyalgia. Whether an abnormal incline in
plasma creatine kinase or myoglobin could be observed days
after the test was studied also. Fifteen female fibromyalgia
patients and 15 age- and sex-matched controls performed a
stepwise incremental maximal bicycle-ergometer test. Blood
samples were collected from a catheter in a cubital vein. The
changes in heart rate, potassium levels, and haematocrit
during the exercise test were similar in the two groups. The
maximal obtained lactate concentration was 4.2 mmol l-1
(3.5-5.6) in the patients as compared to 4.9 mmol l-1
(3.9-5.9) in the controls (NS). The estimated anaerobic
threshold of 2 mmol l-1 was reached at a heart rate of 124
min-1 in the patients with fibromyalgia as compared to 140
min-1 in the controls (P = 0.02). In relation to workload, the
patients scored higher on a Borg scale for perceived exertion
during exercise, but if the Borg score was related to lactate
no significant difference was found. The patients reported 86%
and 79% of maximal pain in the thighs on the visual analogue
scale 1 and 2 days after the test, but the creatine kinase and
myoglobin concentrations were not increased.

Norregaard J, Bulow PM, Mehlsen J, Danneskiold-Samsoe B

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