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Updated guidance on ME/CFS diagnosis for primary care doctors published

  [ 8 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • March 10, 2011

Consultant is a medical journal for primary care practitioners that features “practical clinical advice from top experts in many specialties.” On Feb 16, 2011, Consultant published an article providing advice for PC doctors on the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) by Dr. Hani Raoul Khouzam, MD, MPH - “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: An Update on Diagnosis in Primary Care.”  (See below.)

Among other responsibilities, Dr. Khouzam is a professor at the VA Medical Center in Fresno, California, at UC San Francisco, and Harvard Medical School. In this article, he reviews findings of recent studies & trials to update his earlier diagnostic advice, published in Consultant more than 10 years ago. A future issue will publish “Part 2” - Dr. Khouzam’s update of another past article regarding the management/treatment of ME/CFS.


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: An Update on Diagnosis in Primary Care – Source: Consultant, Feb 16, 2011
By Hani Raoul Khouzam, MD, MpH

[Note: To read the full text of this article, click HERE. Free registration is required.]

The chief characteristic of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disabling fatigue that can impair normal daily functioning and/or occupational performance.

CFS is considered a 3-stage illness that involves predisposing, precipitating, and perpetuating factors.

Abnormalities in the central and autonomic nervous systems, possibly linked to a viral trigger and ongoing immune system dysregulation, may play a role in the pathophysiology of the disorder.

Although no laboratory findings are specific for CFS, the pattern of certain laboratory results and clinical presentation can support the diagnosis in patients with cognitive dysfunction in whom other diseases have been excluded as a cause of fatigue.

Three conditions characterized by chronic fatigue that should initially be ruled out in the workup are fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, and Lyme disease.

Source: Consultant, Feb 16, 2011;vol 51 # 2. Khouzam HR, University of California, San Francisco, USA.

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