The use of oxygen as a possible screening biomarker for the diagnosis of chronic fatigue (Pifarré et al, 2022)


The aim of this study was to verify whether the mean percentage of oxygen use in the aerobic-anaerobic transition phase or isocapnic buffering (IB) was lower in women with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) compared to healthy women, and if this variable could be used as a screening biomarker for the diagnosis of CFS

A cross-sectional study was conducted. Forty-four adult women (22 with CFS and 22 healthy) performed a cycle ergometer stress test with gas analyser (CPET). Maximum oxygen consumption (O2 max), oxygen consumption at the anaerobic threshold (O2 at Vt2), maximum ventilatory volume (E max), time of maintenance of the isocapnic buffering phase (IB duration), and mean percentage of oxygen use in isocapnic buffering phase (% O2 use in IB) were analyzed. Data were explored from a principal component analysis. Groups were matched by propensity score to be mismatched in BMI and a comparison of means and medians was performed. A logistic regression model was built to predict the probability of CFS.

The mean and median values of the variables obtained in the CPET was significantly higher in the healthy group compared to the CFS. In the logistic regression model, VO2 max, IB duration, and mean % of O2 use in IB were selected as predictors. The sensitivity and specificity were greater than 90%.

The combination of the factors O2 max, IB duration, and mean % of O2 use in IB can be used as a screening biomarker for the diagnosis of CFS.

The study:


Senior Member
Are their 'healthy controls' as limited in their daily physical activities as the ME group? Maybe their measurement is just measuring fitness level from daily activity.
Well the first thought that struck me was activity matching. Isnt that critically needed here? Maybe im missing something

Rufous McKinney

Senior Member
I read thru my brain-impaired way.

They discuss the two day CPET we see use at Harvard. To ID ME/CFS....

the paper discusses a lot of paired and unpaired statistics and controls.

they also mention: in the discussion a group of Athletes.

I cannot make further sense of it...but I think they are circling around a true difference between ME CFS, and just being DECONDITIONED.

so I', not tossing this out with the bathwater, yet.