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Somatomedin C (insulin-like growth factor I) levels in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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By Bennett AL, Mayes DM, Fagioli LR, Guerriero R, Komaroff AL • www.ProHealth.com • January 14, 1997


Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder clinically quite similar to
fibromyalgia syndrome, and it is of interest to examine if
these two syndromes have pathogenetic as well as clinical
features in common. Somatomedin C levels have been found to be
lower in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome than in healthy
controls. An attractive hypothesis relating sleep disturbance,
altered somatotropic neuroendocrine function and fibromyalgia
symptoms has been put forward as a plausible pathogenic
mechanism for fibromyalgia syndrome. We therefore sought to
investigate the level of somatomedin C in patients with
chronic fatigue syndrome. Somatomedin C levels were determined
by radioimmunoassay in frozen serum specimens from 49 patients
with CFS and 30 healthy blood donor control subjects of
similar age and gender. Somatomedin C levels were higher in
patients with CFS than in healthy control subjects (255.3 +/-
68.5 vs 211.9 +/- 76.2, P = 0.01). There was no effect of
gender, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or
tricyclic drugs on levels of somatomedin C. There was a
tendency for somatomedin C levels to fall with age. In
contrast to patients with fibromyalgia, in whom levels of
somatomedin C have been found to be reduced, levels in
patients with CFS were found to be elevated. Thus, despite the
clinical similarities between these two conditions, they may
be associated with different abnormalities of sleep and/or of
the somatotropic neuroendocrine axis.

MCM: From 1994 AACFS meeting in Ft. Lauderdale




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