Abstract: Clinical characteristics of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: analysis of 82 cases

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Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2005 Mar 16;85(10):701-4.

[Article in Chinese]

Li YJ, Wang DX, Bai XL, Chen J, Liu ZD, Feng ZJ, Zhao YM.

Department of Neurology, People’s Hospital, Beijing University, Beijing 100044, China.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the clinical characteristics of Chinese patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and provide clinical and laboratory evidence for the study of its etiology and treatment.

METHODS: 82 patients with CFS diagnosed based on the CDC criteria 1994 were recruited. History was collected, and physical examination was made. SCL-90 and memory test were used, and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale was used to those showing depression and/or anxiety.

Laboratory examination, including examination of electrolytes, blood sugar, creatinine, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, alanine trasaminase, etc, was conducted. Western blotting was used to detect the protein-24 of Borna disease virus (BDV) in the plasma of 61 patients and 73 healthy controls. High-pressure chromatography was conducted to detect n-6 fatty acids on the membrane of erythrocytes of 42 patients and 37 healthy controls. Plasma L-carnitine in 61 patients and 73 healthy controls was detected by zymological analysis. In different examinations sex and age-matched controls were used.

RESULTS: Most of the patients were 21 approximately 50 years old (74/82, 90.24%). No gender difference was found. The patients usually had 4 approximately 6 symptoms besides distinctive fatigue. Descent of remembrance and/or attention was the most conspicuous accompanying symptoms (69/82, 84.15%).

Abnormalities in SCL-90 scores were present in 57 patients (69.51%), e.g, somatization existed most commonly (32/82, 39.02%), and anxiety and depression were 20.73% (17/82) and 18.29% (15/82) respectively. The prevalence of anti-BDV-p24 antibody was 20.73% (17/82), significantly higher than that of the controls (0%, chi(2) = 6.673, P = 0.010). The arachidonic acid level was significantly lower in the CFS group than in the controls (P > 0.05) and there were no differences in linoleic acid and ETA (both P > 0.05). The level of L-carnitine was 6.4336 +/- 3.4225, significantly lower than that of the control group (7.6666 +/- 3.5819, t = 2.025, P = 0.045) and the L-carnitine level was increased 2 weeks after supplementary treatment, together with improvement of symptoms.

CONCLUSION: Most of the CFS patients are young and middle-aged. Descent of reorganization is common in these patients. Psychological abnormalities exist in most patients. Some patients are infected with BDV, some with deficiency of nutrition and/or abnormality of energy metabolism.

PMID: 15932738 [PubMed – in process]

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