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Postinfectious chronic fatigue: a distinct syndrome?

  [ 52 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Buchwald D, Umali J, Pearlman T, Kith P, Ashley R, Wener M • www.ProHealth.com • August 3, 1996


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is often preceded by a viral illness
and has recurrent "flu-like" symptoms. We compared
demographic, clinical, and laboratory features (markers of
inflammation and viral infection) among 717 patients with
chronic fatigue (CF) with and without a self-reported
postinfectious onset to identify associated clinical and
biologic findings and to examine the subset of patients with
CFS. Only subjective fever, chills, sore throat,
lymphadenopathy, poorer functional status, and attribution of
illness to a physical condition were significantly associated
with a postinfectious onset. The features of patients with
CFS were virtually identical to those of the broader category
of patients with CF. We conclude that a postinfectious onset
was not associated with a pattern of abnormalities across
multiple psychosocial and biologic parameters.

MCM: Enrolled 717 consecutive adults w unexplained chronic
fatigue: 10% had CF due to obesity, substance abuse, or psych
d, 33% di not meeting 1994 CDC criteria for CFS (so had "CF"),
and 4% were excluded due to insufficient symptoms. A history
of postinfectious onset of fatigue was associated with
subjective fever, chills, sore throat, lymphadenopathy, poorer
functional status, and attribution of illness to a physical
condition but these pts did not significantly differ in
objective measures (lab exam, Ab concentrations, and markers
of immune activation and inflammation) from other CF/CFS pts
and such a classification based on self-reported
post-infectious onset is "not useful". "The features of pts w
CFS were virtually identical to those of the broader category
of pts w CF."




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