1998 Clinical and Scientific Meeting

P. De Becker [1], I.Campine [1], E. Van Steenberge [1], M. Noppen [2], W. Vincken [2], A. Leys [1], K. De Meirleir [1]

1 Human Physiology and Medicine
VUB
Brussels
Belgium
2 Dept. of Pulmonary Diseases
AZ-WB
Brussels
Belgium

Respiratory Symptoms and Lung Function Testing in CFS Patients

The purpose of this study is to report the prevalence of respiratory symptoms in a cohort of CFS patients and to assess the usefullness/importance of pulmonary function testing in the clinical management of these patients.

A sample of 40 consecutive CFS patients, who met the CDC (1988) and Fukuda (1994) criteria, were recruited from a University based fatigue clinic in Brussels, Belgium. Following respiratory symptoms were observed in 34 of these patients (6 CFS patients did not present any respiratory symptom at all): cough 14/40), medical history of allergy (6/40), new onset of allergy (10/40), chest tightness (14/40) and the major respiratory complaint appeared to be a pronounced exercise induced dyspnoea (29/40).

A control group consisted of a community based sample of 39 age- and sex-matched individuals, not seeking medical care and specifically denying any CFS related symptoms. Furthermore, they did not present any respiratory symptoms: only 10 subjects showed a medical history of allergy (2 penicillin, 8 hayfever - house dust).

All patients and controls underwent a standardised pulmonary function testing, measuring following parameters: forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), functional residual capacity (FRC), residual volume (RV), vital capacity (VC) and total lung capacity (TLC). In all CFS patients, a histamine bronchoprovocation test was additionally performed to determine the presence of bronchial hyperresponsiveness (defined as PD20 his < 2 mg histamine). Statistical analysis was performed using descriptive statistics and a nonparametric Mann -Whitney test.

Compared to controls (A) CFS patients (B) do not show a significant difference in TLC (mean ± SD. A: 5.941 ± 1.041; B:5.54 1 ± 0.811: p = 0.11). However, we found a significant difference between both groups in VC (A: 4.741 ± 0.901; B: 4.061 ± 0.711; p < 0.01) and in RV (A: 1.191 ± 0.331; B: 1.481 ± 0.491; p < 0,01). In 25/40 (62.5%) patients a marked bronchial hyperresponsiveness was present.

CFS patients show a significant decrease in VC, possibly due to a significant increase of RV. The incidence of bronchial hyperresponsiveness in this group is also remarkably high. These observations can, at least partial, explain the respiratory symptoms in these patients.

 

Alison Hunter Memorial Foundation
PO Box 6132 North Sydney 2059 Australia
Phone/Fax +61 2 9958 6285

Home
About Us
About ME/CFS
Severity
Advocacy
Research
Guidelines
Conferences
Medical Politics
Media
Archives
Links
Donations