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Brain MRI abnormalities exist in a subset of patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

  [ 46 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • December 1, 1999


Presence of MRI brain abnormalities in patients with Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) was determined and the profile of MRI
abnormalities was compared between 39 CFS patients, 18 with
(CFS-Psych) and 21 without (CFS-No Psych) a DSM-III-R Axis I
psychiatric diagnosis since illness onset, and 19 healthy,
sedentary controls (HC). Two neuroradiologists, blind to group
membership, separately read the MR films using a detailed
protocol for rating and categorizing abnormal signal changes.

When findings were incongruent, the two neuroradiologists met
to try to reach consensus, otherwise a third neuroradiologist
evaluated the MR images and served as a tie-breaker. The
CFS-No Psych group showed a significantly larger number of
brain abnormalities on T2 weighted images than the CFS-Psych
and HC groups. Cerebral changes in the CFS-No Psych group
consisted mostly of small, punctate, subcortical white matter
hyperintensities, found predominantly in the frontal lobes. No
significant difference was found when both CFS groups were
combined and compared to the HC group. The use of
stratification techniques is an important strategy in
understanding the pathophysiology of CFS. This frontal lobe
pathology could explain the more severe cognitive impairment
previously reported in this subset of CFS patients.

Lange G, DeLuca J, Maldjian JA, Lee H, Tiersky LA, Natelson BH




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