Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Sep;33(9):1463-70.

Physiological responses to incremental exercise in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Author information

  • 1Department of Life Sciences, Zinman College, Wingate Institute, Netania, Israel.



The purpose of this investigation was to characterize the physiological response profiles of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), to an incremental exercise test, performed to the limit of tolerance.


Fifteen patients (12 women and three men) who fulfilled the case definition for chronic fatigue syndrome, and 15 healthy, sedentary, age- and sex-matched controls, performed an incremental progressive all-out treadmill test (cardiopulmonary exercise test).


As a group, the CFS patients demonstrated significantly lower cardiovascular as well as ventilatory values at peak exercise, compared with the control group. At similar relative submaximal exercise levels (% peak VO(2)), the CFS patients portrayed response patterns (trending phenomenon) characterized, in most parameters, by similar intercepts, but either lower (VCO(2), HR, O(2pulse), V(E), V(T), PETCO(2)) or higher (B(f), V(E)/VCO(2)) trending kinetics in the CFS compared with the control group. It was found that the primary exercise-related physiological difference between the CFS and the control group was their significantly lower heart rate at any equal relative and at maximal work level. Assuming maximal effort by all (indicated by RER, PETCO(2), and subjective exhaustion), these results could indicate either cardiac or peripheral insufficiency embedded in the pathology of CFS patients.


We conclude that indexes from cardiopulmonary exercise testing may be used as objective discriminatory indicators for evaluation of patients complaining of chronic fatigue syndrome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Support Center