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Neuroimaging in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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By Lange G, Wang S, DeLuca J, Natelson BH • www.ProHealth.com • September 28, 1998


The diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is made
difficult by the absence of specific biomedical markers, and
depends primarily on determining whether subjective
information provided by the patient meets the clinical case
definition of this syndrome. Reported cognitive difficulties
and/or complaints of headache may instigate referral for brain
imaging. This article will discuss the value of neuroimaging
in evaluating CFS, specifically reviewing studies that (1)
used static magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess
structural abnormalities; and (2) assessed regional cerebral
blood flow (rCBF) via detection of Tc-99m
hexamethylpropyl-eneamine oxime distribution by single-photon
emission computed tomography (SPECT). Future research design
considerations are explored including (1) the utilization of
positron emission tomography (PET) and other emerging
neuroimaging technologies; and (2) methodological concerns,
i.e., the influence of psychopathology (such as depression)
and neurologic disease (such as multiple sclerosis) as
possible confounding factors.




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