Properties of measurements obtained during Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing in individuals with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, by Todd E Davenport, Staci R Stevens, M A Jared Stevens, Christopher R Snell, J Mark VanNess in Work vol. 66, no. 2, pp. 247-256, 2020 Jul 20 [doi: 10.3233/WOR-203170]


Research abstract:


Diminished cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) performance indicates the physiological basis for reduced capacity for activities of daily living and work. Thus, it may be a biomarker for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).


To determine statistical properties of cardiac, pulmonary, and metabolic measurements obtained during CPET in people with ME/CFS.


Fifty-one females with ME/CFS and 10 sedentary females with similar age and body mass received cardiac, pulmonary, and metabolic measurements during 2 CPETs separated by 24 hours. Two-way analysis of variance and effect size calculations (Cohen’s d) were used to assess the magnitude and statistical significance of differences in measurements between groups. Reliability of CPET measurements was estimated using intraclass correlation coefficients (formula 2,1; ICC2,1). Responsiveness of CPET measurements was assessed using minimum detectable change outside the 95% confidence interval (MDC95) and coefficients of variation (CoV).


CPET measurements demonstrated moderate to high reliability for individuals with ME/CFS. Comparing subjects with ME/CFS and control subjects yielded moderate to large effect sizes on all CPET measurements. MDC95 for all individuals with ME/CFS generally exceeded control subjects and CoVs for CPET measurements were comparable between groups.


CPET measurements demonstrate adequate responsiveness and reproducibility for research and clinical applications.

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