Circulating blood volume in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Source: J of CFS 1998;4(1):3-11.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is an illness associated with severe

activity limitation and a characteristic pattern of symptoms

despite a relatively normal physical examination and routine

laboratory evaluation. The recent description of delayed

orthostatic hypotension in patients with CFS, and previous

findings of reduced red blood cell (RBC) mass in other

patients with orthostatic hypotension not known to have CFS,

led us to measure RBC mass and plasma volume in 19 individuals

(15 female, four male) will well characterized, severe CFS.

RBC mass was found to be significantly reduced (p < 0.001)

below the published normal range in the 15 women, being

subnormal in 14 (93.3%) of them as well as in two of the four

men. Plasma volume was subnormal in 10 (52.6%) patients and

total blood volume was below normal in 12 (63.2%). The high

prevalence and frequent severity of low RBC mass suggest that

this abnormality might contribute to the symptoms of CFS by

reducing the oxygen-carrying power of the blood reaching the

brain in many of these patients. [obtained from CFS News]

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