Single fibre EMG studies were carried out on the right extensor digitorum communis muscle in 30 subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome and in 30 age and sex matched controls. Abnormal jitter was seen in five patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Slight but significant differences between the mean consecutive differences in the remainder of the chronic fatigue subjects and the control subjects were recorded. Overall the differences were so minor that it seems unlikely that a disturbance of neuromuscular function as reflected by jitter measurement has a pathogenetic role. It is suggested that the increased jitter seen may be explained by the effects of the variability of motor unit firing rates on the myogenic component of the jitter.
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