New Insights into Exercise Intolerance And Medication



 in Bateman Horne Center.


The Bateman Horne Center is always excited to share important research on ME/CFS and FM happening around the globe. Today, we focus on David Systrom, a pulmonary and critical care physician who researches all forms of exercise intolerance and heads, by request of the Massachusetts General Hospital, the Invasive Cardiopulmonary Exercise Lab in Boston. He is also a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and an assistant professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. The content for this post is taken from a recent interview with David Systrom on ME/CFS Alert, which can be found as an embedded video at the end of this post.

Systrom’s research uses invasive cardiopulmonary exercise to measure types of fatigue and exercise intolerance that are difficult or impossible to measure while the patient is at rest. The cardiopulmonary aspect is measured by a 6-8 minute cycling test where the patient pedals to exhaustion; the invasive aspect is the two catheters inserted into veins in the arm and neck, which take key readings when the patient is at rest, exercising, at peak exercise, and an hour after exercise.

From this research, Systrom has uncovered several key findings. First, a phenomenon called internal preload failure – the inability or unwillingness of large veins in the legs, abdomen, and pelvis to push blood up to the right side of the heart – is ubiquitous for ME/CFS patients.


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