Physiological Responses to Arm and Leg Exercise in Women Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Journal: Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, vol. 14, No. 1, 2007 [Abstract published online ahead of article, which is not yet available] Authors: Casimiro Javierre, José Alegre, José Luis Ventura, Ana García-Quintana, Ramon Segura MD, PhD, Andrea Suarez, Alberto Morales, Agusti Comella, Kenny De Meirleir. DOI: 10.1300/

Patients affected by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) characteristically show easy and unexplained fatigue after minimal exertion that does not resolve with rest and is associated with specific symptoms lasting for more than six months. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing is a valid procedure for determining functional capacity in patients with CFS.

We compare cardioventilatory adaptation to exercise between a group of 85 consecutive women patients affected by CFS and a group of 15 healthy women, extremely sedentary individuals, with the use of maximum incremental exercise testing on a cycle ergometer and arm ergometer, assessing possible differences.

The majority of values achieved at peak exhaustive exercise were significantly lower in CFS patients than controls, including the percentage of maximum oxygen uptake in arm physical test (37.4 ± 10.0% in CFS vs. 58.9 ± 15.8% in controls) and leg physical test (53.4 ± 15.0% in CFS patients vs. 76.2 ± 18.0% in controls).

In conclusion, the CFS group show a lower work capacity in arm or leg exercise that would not be justified exclusively by their personal characteristics or deconditioning.

Keywords: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, maximal oxygen uptake, lactate

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