Cardiopulmonary responses to exercise in an individual with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome during long-term treatment with intravenous saline: A case study by Todd E Davenport, Michael K Ward, Staci R Stevens, Jared Stevens, Christopher R Snell, J Mark VanNess, in Work, pp. 1-7, 2020 [DOI: 10.3233/WOR-203214]


Research abstract:


Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) causes significant impairment in daily activities, including the ability to pursue daily activities. Chronotropic intolerance is becoming better characterized in ME/CFS and may be the target of supportive treatment.


To document the effect of repeated intravenous (IV) saline administration on cardiovascular functioning and symptoms in a 38-year old female with ME/CFS.


The patient received 1 L of 0.9% IV saline through a central line for a total of 675 days. Single CPETs were completed periodically to assess the effect of treatment on cardiopulmonary function at peak exertion and ventilatory anaerobic threshold (VAT). An open-ended symptom questionnaire was used to assess subjective responses to CPET and self-reported recovery time.


Improvements were noted in volume of oxygen consumed (VO2), heart rate (HR), and systolic blood pressure (SBP) at peak and VAT.

Self-reported recovery time from CPET reduced from 5 days to 1–2 days by the end of treatment. The patient reported improved quality of life related, improved capacity for activities of daily living, and reduced symptoms.


IV saline may promote beneficial effects for cardiopulmonary function and symptoms in people with ME/CFS, which should be the focus of formal study.

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