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Basal activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in patients with the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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By Young AH, Sharpe M, Clements A, Dowling B, Hawton KE, Cowen PJ • www.ProHealth.com • February 25, 1998


BACKGROUND: Impairments in both basal activity and activation of the
hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) have been reported
in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS; neurasthenia). We sought to
replicate these findings and examined basal activity of the
HPA in a carefully selected sample of patients with CFS.
METHODS: Basal activity of the HPA was assessed using salivary
and urinary cortisol collection over a 24-hour period in 22
(12 male; 10 female) patients meeting criteria for CFS and
appropriate controls.
RESULTS: Salivary and urinary cortisol
measures did not differ between CFS patients and controls.
CONCLUSIONS: Basal activity of the HPA was not reduced in CFS
patients. Reasons for the failure to replicate previous
findings are discussed.




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