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Increased plasma peroxides as a marker of oxidative stress in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)

Michael Maes, Marta Kubera, Marc Uytterhoeven, Nicolas Vrydags, Eugene Bosmans

Med Sci Monit 2011; 17(4): SC11-15

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.881699

Published: 2011-04-01


Background:    There is evidence that myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is characterized by activation of immune, inflammatory, oxidative and nitrosative stress (IO&NS) pathways. The present study was carried out in order to examine whether ME/CFS is accompanied by increased levels of plasma peroxides and serum oxidized LDL (oxLDL) antibodies, two biomarkers of oxidative stress.
    Material/Methods:    Blood was collected from 56 patients with ME/CFS and 37 normal volunteers. Severity of ME/CFS was measured using the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (FF) Rating Scale.
    Results:    Plasma peroxide concentrations were significantly higher in patients with ME/CFS than in normal controls. There was a trend towards significantly higher serum oxLDL antibodies in ME/CFS than in controls. Both biomarkers contributed significantly in discriminating between patients with ME/CFS and normal controls. Plasma peroxide and serum oxLDL antibody levels were both significantly related to one of the FF symptoms.
    Conclusions:    The results show that ME/CFS is characterized by increased oxidative stress.

Keywords: Lipoproteins, LDL - immunology, Humans, Female, Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic - complications, Case-Control Studies, Biological Markers - blood, Antibodies - immunology, Adult, Male, Oxidative Stress, Peroxides - blood



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