Electron-microscopic investigation of muscle mitochondria in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) suffer from disabling
physical and mental fatigue. Abnormalities in mitochondrial
function can lead to fatigue and weakness. Ultrastructural
mitochondrial abnormalities have been reported to be present
in CFS patients. We obtained percutaneous needle muscle
biopsies from 15 CFS patients and 15 age- and sex-matched
controls. We investigated previously reported ultrastructural
abnormalites in CFS: subsarcolemmal mitochondrial aggregates,
intermyofibrillar mitochondrial aggregates, mitochondrial
circumference, area, pleomorphism and the presence of
compartmentalization of the inner mitochondrial membrane. All
of the steps of tissue processing, electron microscopy and
data abstracting and analysis were performed in a totally
blinded fashion. All of our data were rigorously quantified.
We found no difference in any of these studied parameters
between CFS patients and controls. Although there is no
ultrastructural mitochondrial abnormality in CFS patients,
other lines of evidence suggest the presence of a possible
functional mitochondrial abnormality.

Plioplys AV, Plioplys S

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