Introduction: Conflicting data have been published on the reduction of circulating blood volume in adults with Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). The aim of the present study was to compare blood volumes based on the presence or absence of orthostatic symptoms.
Subscribe to the World's Most Popular Newsletter (it's free!)
Methods and results: Twenty consecutive adults with ME/CFS participated in the study. All underwent dual isotope blood volume measurement and were evaluated for a clinical suspicion of orthostatic intolerance (OI). The mean age was 34 (10) years, and median duration of disease was 7.5 (6-10) years. The mean (SD) absolute blood volume was 59 (8) ml/kg, a value -11 (7) ml/kg below the reference blood volume. Of the 12 patients, 4 had no OI and 8 had a clinical suspicion of OI. In 8 patients with OI, absolute blood volumes were significantly lower than for the 4 without OI (56  vs. 66 ; p < 0.05) as were the differences between the measured and the reference blood volume (-14 ; vs. -4 ; p < 0.02).
Conclusions: Adults with ME/CFS had a significantly lower blood volume if they had a clinical suspicion of OI compared to those without a clinical suspicion of OI, as well as a significantly lower blood volume compared to the expected value. The data suggest that accounting for symptoms of OI could enhance the detection of the subset with reduced blood volume.
Source: van Campen CLMC, Rowe PC, Visser FC. Blood Volume Status in ME/CFS Correlates With the Presence or Absence of Orthostatic Symptoms: Preliminary Results. Front Pediatr. 2018 Nov 15;6:352. doi: 10.3389/fped.2018.00352. eCollection 2018. (Full article)