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Rev Infect Dis. 1991 Jan-Feb;13 Suppl 1:S98-108.

Physiologic measurement of exercise and fatigue with special reference to chronic fatigue syndrome.

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Department of Physiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.


Oxidative metabolism is the major source of energy for muscle activity, and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), the product of maximal cardiac output and maximal arteriovenous oxygen difference, indicates individual capacity for oxidative metabolism and performance of exercise by the large muscles. Strength, a function of muscle cross-sectional area, motor-unit recruitment, and neuromuscular coordination, is the ability to develop force in a single, brief, maximal-effort voluntary contraction of rested muscle. Weakness is a diminished ability of rested muscle to exert maximal force. Fatigue is a loss of maximal force-generating capacity that develops during muscular activity, likely originates within muscle itself, and persists until muscle is fully recovered. Individual perception of motor effort can be determined with standardized rating scales. These concepts are discussed in detail, their relevance to the pathophysiology of exercise in chronic fatigue syndrome is analyzed, and a general strategy of exercise evaluation pertinent to chronic fatigue syndrome is presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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