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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003 Aug;112(2):397-403.

Complement activation in a model of chronic fatigue syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, CO, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A need exists to identify biological markers in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

OBJECTIVE:

To use an exercise and/or allergen challenge to induce the symptoms of CFS and to identify a biological marker that correlates with these symptoms.

METHODS:

Patients with CFS (n = 32) and age-matched, normal control patients (n = 29) exercised for 20 minutes on a stationary bike at 70% of their predicted max work load (Watts). Patients from each group with positive skin test results were also challenged with intranasally administered relevant allergens. Symptoms were recorded for 2 weeks before and 1 week after each challenge, using 3 different instruments. Blood samples were taken before, and 0, 1, 6, and 24 hours after challenges. Levels of complement split products, cell-associated cytokines, and eosinophilic cationic protein were measured. Mean preexercise and postexercise symptom scores were evaluated for each group.

RESULTS:

Exercise challenge induced significant increases of the complement split product C4a, but not C3a or C5a, at 6 hours after exercise only in the CFS group (P <.01), regardless of allergy status. Mean symptom scores were significantly increased after exercise through the use of a daily diary (P <.03) and a weekly diary (P <.01) for the CFS group only. Mean scores for the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory categories "reduced activity" and "mental fatigue" were significantly increased in the CFS group only (P <.04 and P <.02, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

Exercise challenge may be a valuable tool in the development of diagnostic criteria and tests for CFS. Establishment of a role for complement activation products as markers or participants in production of illness require further study.

PMID:
12897748
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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