1998 Clinical and Scientific Meeting

P. De Becker, I.Campine, E. Van Steenberge, J. Roeykens, A. Leys, K. De Meirleir

Dept. of Human Physiology and Sports Medicine of the University Hospital
AZ-VUB
Brussels
Belgium

Exercise Capacity of CFS Patients

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can be a severely disabling disease which is present in up to 1-3% of the population. One the main characteristics of this disorder is a reduction of at least 50 % in the ability to perform activities of daily living. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether this disability could be objectivated.

166 CFS-patients (138 female and 28 male) who fulfilled the 1988 CDC-criteria for CFS and 138 healthy controls (113 female and 25 male) performed a maximal exercise test on a bicycle ergometer and continuous gas exchange measurements were made. The groups were matched for sex and age (age CFS patients vs controls mean ± SD: 36.5 years ± 9.3 versus 36,6 years ± 6.5; p = 0.79).

Following parameters were measured: maximal workcapacity (MCW) attained (Watt max), Watt max per kg of body weight (Watt max/kg), maximum oxygen uptake per kg body weight (VO2max/kg).

Statistical analysis was performed using the Mann-Whitney test. The main results were:

CFS female

Control female

p-value

W max (Watt ± SD)

83.2 + 27.5

185.9 ± 44.4

< 0.0001

W max/kg (Watt/kg ±SD)

1.4 ± 0.5

3.12 ± 0.8

< 0.0001

VO2max/kg (ml/kg ± SD)

20.1 ± 5.4

34.38± 7.8

< 0.0001


CFS male

Control male

p-value

W max (Watt ± SD)

147.5 ± 54.5

305.7 ± 67.0

< 0.0001

W max/kg (Watt/kg ±SD)

2.0 ± 0.7

4.04 ± 0.9

< 0.0001

VO2max/kg (ml/kg ± SD)

25.9 ± 6.7

43.39 ± 8.0

< 0.0001

In conclusion, both male and female CFS-patients have a MCW which is at least 50% lower compared to controls, which objectively proves their disability.

 

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

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