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Chronic fatigue syndrome following infections in adolescents - Source: Current Opinion in Pediatrics, Dec 19, 2012

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By Ben Z Katz, Leonard A Jason • • December 26, 2012

[Note: Ben Katz, MD, is a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Children's Hospital of Chicago. Leonard Jason, PhD, directs an ME/CFS Research Team within the Center for Community Research at DePaul University. They share a special interest in ME/CFS risk factors, diagnosis, and prognosis.]

Purpose of Review: To review the recent epidemiology, pathophysiology, and treatment of postinfectious chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in adolescents.

Recent Findings: Thirteen percent of adolescents (mainly women) met the criteria for CFS 6 months following infectious mononucleosis; the figure was 7% at 12 months and 4% at 24 months.

Peak work capacity, activity level, orthostatic intolerance, salivary cortisol, and natural killer cell number and function were similar between adolescents with CFS following infectious mononucleosis and recovered controls.

Autonomic system, oxygen consumption, peak oxygen pulse, psychological and cytokine network differences were documented between those who recovered and those who did not.


• The prognosis of CFS is better in adolescents than in adults.

• Activity level, exercise tolerance, and orthostatic testing could not distinguish patients with CFS from adolescents who have recovered from infectious mononucleosis (controls),

• While certain cytokine network analyses, life stress factors, and autonomic symptoms could.

Source: Current Opinion in Pediatrics, Dec 19, 2012. PMID:23263024, by Katz BZ, Jason LA. Division of Infectious Diseases, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

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