No Link Between Bronchial Hyperresponsiveness, RNase L Ratio in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients

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Source: The CFS Research Review, Spring 2003, Volume 4 Issue 1 (published by the CFIDS Association of America)

A CFS-related change in the body’s antiviral pathway appears not to be responsible for the high percentage of CFS patients with bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR), according to new research from Belgium.

The study focused on 137 CFS patients, seventy-three of whom presented with BHR. This percentage is comparable to earlier research that found 60 percent of CFS patients showed signs of BHR.

All subjects were tested for the ratio between two different forms of RNase L, a key protein in the antiviral pathway. Many people with CFS have two forms, the normal 83 kilodalton (kDa) version and a lighter, 37 kDa type that is formed by the cleaving of the 83 kDa protein.

The researchers report no differences in the 83 kDa/37 kDa ration between the BHR and the non-BHR patients. There also were no differences in total lung capacity or forced expiratory/forced vital capacity measures. These results, the authors write, “refute any association” between the RNase L ratios and BHR.

Study results did indicate that CFS patients with BHR showed an overall higher immune system activation level than those without BHR.

Study Reference: Nijs J et al. “Associations Between Bronchial Hyperresponsiveness and Immune Cell Parameters in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome." Chest, April 2003;123:998-1007.

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