Erythrocyte Oxidative Damage in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Ross S. Richards, Lexin Wang, Herbert Jelinek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Background: It has been hypothesized that a link exists between erythrocyte metabolism (particularly redox metabolism) and erythrocyte shape and that both are related to erythrocyte deformability. The aim of this research is to confirm the results of earlier studies and to investigate a correlation between erythrocyte morphology and erythrocyte oxidative damage in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Methods: Reduced glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA), methemoglobin (metHb) and 2,3-diphosphoglyceric acid (2,3-DPG) were measured in 31 patients suffering from CFS and 41 healthy control subjects. Scanning electron microscopic studies of the erythrocytes from both groups were also carried out. Results: There was evidence of oxidative damage in CFS with statistically significant increases in 2,3-DPG (p <0.05), metHb (p <0.005) and MDA (p <0.01). The CFS patients in this study also had significantly more stomatocytes in their blood than the normal subjects (p <0.005). Conclusions: There is a strong likelihood that the increase in erythrocyte antioxidant activity is associated with the presence of stomatocytes. The results of this study provide further evidence for the role of free radicals in the pathogenesis of CFS and a link between erythrocyte metabolism and erythrocyte shape.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)94-98
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Medical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Biochemistry
  • Erythrocyte
  • Free radicals
  • Morphology
  • Oxidative damage


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