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SEE FULL TEXT - International Consensus Criteria for ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis)

  [ 84 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By International Consensus Panel • • July 22, 2011

[Note: The full unproofed text of this new definition of diagnostic criteria for ME, produced with 100% agreement by an International Consensus Panel of expert clinicians and researchers, may be reviewed via this link (, posted July 23 on the Hunter Hopkins Center facebook. As an "accepted article" this text has been peer-reviewed and approved for publication by the Journal of Internal Medicine, but not yet copy-edited and corrected.
The members of the International Consensus Panel, representing some 13 countries, are: Bruce M Carruthers MD, CM, FRCP(C), Marjorie I van de Sande BEd, Kenny L De Meirleir MD, PhD, Nancy G Klimas MD, Gordon Broderick PhD, Terry Mitchell MA, MD, FRCPath, Don Staines MBBS, MPH, FAFPHM, FAFOEM, AC Peter Powles MRACP, FRACP, FRCP(C), ABSM, Nigel Speight MA, MB, BChir, FRCP, FRCPCH, DCH, Rosamund Vallings MNZM, MB, BS, MRCS, LRCP, Lucinda Bateman MS, MD, Barbara Baumgarten- Austrheim MD, David S Bell MD, FAAP, Nicoletta Carlo- Stella MD, PhD, John Chia MD, Austin Darragh MA, MD, FFSEM. (RCPI, RCSI), FRSHFI Biol I (Hon), Daehyun Jo MD, PhD, Don Lewis MD, Alan R Light PhD, Sonya Marshall- Gradisbik PhD, Ismael Mena MD, Judy A Mikovits PhD, Kunihisa Miwa MD, PhD, Modra Murovska MD, PhD, Martin L Pall PhD, Staci Stevens MA.]

Article Abstract:
Myalgic encephalomyelitis: International Consensus Criteria
- Source: Journal of International Medicine, July 20, 2011

The label 'chronic fatigue syndrome' (CFS) has persisted for many years because of lack of knowledge of the etiological agents and of the disease process.

In view of more recent research and clinical experience that strongly point to widespread inflammation and multisystemic neuropathology, it is more appropriate and correct to use the term 'myalgic encephalomyelitis' (ME) because it indicates an underlying pathophysiology. [bolding ours]

It is also consistent with the neurological classification of ME in the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases (ICD G93.3).

Consequently, an International Consensus Panel consisting of clinicians, researchers, teaching faculty and an independent patient advocate was formed with the purpose of developing criteria based on current knowledge.
Thirteen countries and a wide range of specialties were represented.

Collectively, members have approximately 400 years of both clinical and teaching experience, authored hundreds of peer reviewed publications, diagnosed or treated approximately 50,000 ME patients, and several members coauthored previous criteria.

The expertise and experience of the panel members as well as PubMed and other medical sources were utilized in a progression of suggestions/ drafts/reviews/revisions.

The authors, free of any sponsoring organization, achieved 100% consensus through a Delphi type process.

The scope of this paper is limited to criteria of ME and their application. Accordingly, the criteria reflect the complex symptomatology.

Operational notes enhance clarity and specificity by providing guidance in the expression and interpretation of symptoms.

Clinical and research application guidelines promote optimal recognition of ME by primary physicians and other health care providers, improve consistency of diagnoses in adult and pediatric patients internationally, and facilitate clearer identification of patients for research studies.

Source: Journal of International Medicine, July 20, 2011 (Early View). For information on affiliations of this international author consortium, click on author information at

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