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Handgrip strength as a marker for muscular fatigue and fatigability in ME/CFS


Principal investigator:
Study start:
Not available
Completion (planned):
Not available
Last update:


Research types:
Clinical research
Research areas:
Musculoskeletal system disorder
Hand grip strength (HGS) test
Priv. Sector Partner:
Not available

Project description

Background: ME/CFS is a complex chronic disease that can lead to severe limitations in everyday life and which is still not fully understood. The focus lies on fatigue and relative fatigability and a worsening of symptoms after exercise, also known as Post-Exertional Malaise (PEM). To date, there exists no objective method for the treatment of physical fatigue and the diagnosis is based primarily on the clinical assessment and questionnaires. Cardiopulmonary exercise tests (CPET) are being used, which, however, are very physically demanding and can lead to a worsening of symptoms in form of PEM. Hand strength measurement is a marker for muscle strength and general fitness of a person. In several studies, a slight reduction in handgrip strength has been found in people with MECFS compared to healthy people.

Method: In the present study, the investigators examined the hand grip strength of 105 patients with mecfs, 18 patients with cancer related fatigue and 66 healthy controls. The measurement was carried out with an electrical dynamometer in two cycles one hour apart with ten pulls each. We also used questionnaires about patients' symptoms to record and correlate these with the results of the handgrip strength test.


A) Patients with ME/CFS have lower handgrip strength than healthy people and show a greater loss of strength and reduced recovery during repeated measurements,

B) Patients with tumor fatigue also have a lower handgrip strength, and

C) Repeated hand strength handgrip strength measurement is a simple test to record the severity of fatigue in ME/CFS.

(Description adapted from project website: see link above)

Patient cohort

ME/CFS according to Canadian Consensus Criteria (CCC) comapred with patients with cancer related fatigue and healthy controls.

Patients enrolled: 171

Age group: 21 - 76 years (Older Adults, Adults)

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