Muscle strength, endurance and recovery in the post-infection fatigue syndrome.


A test of muscle strength and "fatiguability" was administered to 20 normal subjects and 20 patients suffering from post-infection fatigue syndrome. Maximal isometric torque for the elbow flexors was measured before, during and after an endurance sequence of 18 maximal static contractions (10 s duration, 10 s rest interval). The maximal isometric strength was not significantly different between the patient and control groups. The relative torque produced at the end of the series of 18 static contractions did not differ significantly between patients and normal subjects. In the patients with post-infection fatigue syndrome there was impairment of the recovery of peak torque at 10 minutes after the endurance sequence (p less than 0.02). The prominent subjective complaint of muscle fatigue in patients with post-infection fatigue syndrome contrasts with the relatively normal behaviour of their muscles during a controlled test of fatigue. The syndrome may include a disordered perception of achieved force and exertion.

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