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The existence of a fatigue syndrome after glandular fever

  [ 24 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • September 2, 1995

This prospective cohort study was designed to test whether a
distinct fatigue syndrome existed after the onset of glandular
fever. Two hundred and fifty primary care patients, with
either glandular fever or an ordinary upper respiratory tract
infection (URTI) were interviewed three times in the 6 months
after the clinical onset of their infection. At each interview
a standardized psychiatric interview was given and physical
symptoms were assessed.

There were 108 subjects with an Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
infection; 83 subjects had glandular fever not caused by
EBV and 54 subjects had an ordinary URTI. Five
subjects were excluded because they had no evidence of an
infection. Principal components analyses of symptoms supported
the existence of a fatigue syndrome, particularly in the two
glandular fever groups. The addition of symptoms not elicited
by the standard interviews gave the full syndrome. This
included physical and mental fatigue, excessive sleep,
psychomotor retardation, poor concentration, anhedonia,
irritability, social withdrawal, emotional lability, and
transient sore throat and neck gland swelling with pain. A
fatigue syndrome probably exists after glandular fever.

White PD, Thomas JM, Amess J, Grover SA, Kangro HO, Clare AW

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