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Sci Rep. 2018 Feb 9;8(1):2779. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-20941-w.

Value of Circulating Cytokine Profiling During Submaximal Exercise Testing in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Author information

1
Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA. keganm@stanford.edu.
2
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA. keganm@stanford.edu.
3
Department of Medicine, St Vincent's Hospital, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. keganm@stanford.edu.
4
General Medical Disciplines, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.
5
Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
6
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.
7
Human Immune Monitoring Center, Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.
8
Division of Infectious Diseases, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.
9
Palo Alto Medical Foundation Toxoplasma Serology Laboratory, Palo Alto, CA, USA.

Abstract

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a heterogeneous syndrome in which patients often experience severe fatigue and malaise following exertion. Immune and cardiovascular dysfunction have been postulated to play a role in the pathophysiology. We therefore, examined whether cytokine profiling or cardiovascular testing following exercise would differentiate patients with ME/CFS. Twenty-four ME/CFS patients were matched to 24 sedentary controls and underwent cardiovascular and circulating immune profiling. Cardiovascular analysis included echocardiography, cardiopulmonary exercise and endothelial function testing. Cytokine and growth factor profiles were analyzed using a 51-plex Luminex bead kit at baseline and 18 hours following exercise. Cardiac structure and exercise capacity were similar between groups. Sparse partial least square discriminant analyses of cytokine profiles 18 hours post exercise offered the most reliable discrimination between ME/CFS and controls (κ = 0.62(0.34,0.84)). The most discriminatory cytokines post exercise were CD40L, platelet activator inhibitor, interleukin 1-β, interferon-α and CXCL1. In conclusion, cytokine profiling following exercise may help differentiate patients with ME/CFS from sedentary controls.

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