Abstract: RNase L Levels in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells: 37-Kilodalton/83-Kilodalton Isoform Ratio Is a Potential Test for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Clin Diagn Lab Immunol 2003 Mar;10(2):315-6

Tiev KP, Demettre E, Ercolano P, Bastide L, Lebleu B, Cabane J.

Service de Medecine Interne, Hopital Saint Antoine, 75571 Paris Cedex 12. UMR 5124 CNRS, Universite Montpellier 2, 34293 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disorder characterized by debilitating fatigue associated with immunological abnormalities. The etiology remains unclear. A low-molecular-mass (37 kDa) isoform of RNase L has been described in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) extracts, and the ratio of two isoforms of RNase L (37 kDa/83 kDa) has been proposed as a potential biochemical marker of CFS. In a prospective case-control study, we tested whether the RNase L 37-kDa/83-kDa ratio could discriminate a SFC population.

We compared the ratio of RNase L isoforms in PBMCs from 11 patients with CFS (6 women and 5 men; mean age +/- standard deviation, 43.2 +/- 13.8 years) and PBMCs from 14 healthy well-matched volunteers (10 women and 4 men; age, 39.1 +/- 11.6 years). A ratio of RNase L of 0.4 used as a threshold allowed diagnosis of CFS with high sensitivity (91%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 57 to 99%) and specificity (71%; 95% CI, 41 to 90%).

The positive and negative prognostic values were 71% (95% CI, 41 to 90%) and 91% (95% CI, 57 to 99%), respectively. In the absence of acute infection or chronic inflammation, a high RNase L ratio could distinguish CFS patients from healthy volunteers. Additional large studies and follow-up studies are required to confirm the stability of this high ratio of RNase L isoforms in a CFS group.

PMID: 12626460 [PubMed – in process]

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