Fatigue in primary Sjögren's syndrome is associated with an objective decline in physical performance, pain and depression

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OBJECTIVES: Fatigue is a major complaint in primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS). To acquire a better understanding of fatigue in pSS, we investigated objective measures of performance decline (performance fatigability). Furthermore, we evaluated the relationship of self-reported fatigue with performance fatigability and factors modulating perceptions of fatigability (perceived fatigability).

METHODS: Thirty-nine pSS patients and 27 healthy controls were included. To assess performance fatigability, force decline was measured during a sustained (124s) maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) with the index finger abductor muscle, and voluntary muscle activation was indexed using peripheral nerve stimulation. Self-reported fatigue was quantified using the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS). Pain, depression, and anxiety assessed using questionnaires and inflammatory biomarkers measured in blood were used as factors relating to perceived fatigability.

RESULTS: Voluntary muscle activation was reduced in pSS (p=0.030), but force decline during the sustained MVC did not differ between groups. Self-reported fatigue was significantly higher in pSS than in controls (FSS: 4.4 vs. 2.6, p<0.001). Multivariable linear regression showed that both performance fatigability (force decline) and perceived fatigability (pain and depression) were associated with the MFIS physical domain in pSS (total explained variance of 47%). Negative associations with fatigue were observed for two interferon-associated proteins: MxA and CXCL10.

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that performance fatigability in pSS was compromised by a reduced capacity of the central nervous system to drive the muscle. Furthermore, self-reported fatigue is a multifactorial symptom associated with both performance fatigability and perceived fatigability in patients with pSS.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's11
TijdschriftClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
DOI's
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 12-okt.-2022

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