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Insulin-like growth factor-I (somatomedin C) levels in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) & fibromyalgia (FM)

  [ 29 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Buchwald D, Umali J, Stene M • • April 2, 1996

OBJECTIVE. Fibromyalgia (FM) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are
similar conditions characterized by substantial fatigue,
diffuse myalgias, sleep disturbances and a variety of other
symptoms. Many patients with CFS meet strict criteria for FM.
Recently, low insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) levels have
been demonstrated in patients with FM, suggesting that
disruption of the growth hormone-IGF-I axis might explain the
link between the muscle pain and poor sleep. Our goal was to
determine whether IGF-I levels are decreased in CFS, and
whether such findings are restricted to patients with
concurrent FM.

METHODS. Radioimmunoassays were used to
determine serum concentrations of IGF-I and its binding
protein, (IGFBP-3). Subjects were 3 patients seen in a
referral clinic for chronic fatigue: 15 patients with CFS, 15
who met criteria for both CFS and FM (CFS-FM), 27 with FM
alone; and 15 healthy control (HC) subjects.

RESULTS. Patients
and control subjects had similar demographic and clinical
characteristics. No significant differences were observed
among any of the 3 patient groups and control subjects in the
mean concentration of either IGF-I or IGFBP-3. Likewise, the
proportion of subjects with values above or below the
laboratory's reference range did not differ for IGF-I or

CONCLUSIONS. These findings suggest the disruption of
the growth hormone-IGF-I axis previously demonstrated in FM
patients is not evident in a referral population of patients
with CFS, CFS-FM, or FM.

MCM: Found no significant differences in serum concentrations
of IGF-I and its binding protein IGFBP-3 among 15 pts w CFS,
15 w CFS plus FM, 27 w FM alone, and 15 healthy controls.

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