Skeletal muscle bioenergetics in the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Skeletal muscle bioenergetics and control of intracellular pH

have been investigated in 46 patients with chronic fatigue

syndrome by phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The

results have been compared with those from healthy controls

and from a group of patients with mitochondrial cytopathies

affecting skeletal muscle. No consistent abnormalities of

glycolysis, mitochondrial metabolism or pH regulation were

identified in the group when taken as a whole, although in 12

of the 46 patients the relationship between pH and

phosphocreatine utilisation during exercise fell outside the

normal range. Of these, 6 patients showed increased

acidification relative to phosphocreatine depletion while 6

showed reduced acidification. These findings do not support

the hypothesis that any specific metabolic abnormality

underlies fatigue in this syndrome although abnormalities may

be present in a minority of patients.

Barnes PR, Taylor DJ, Kemp GJ, Radda GK

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