Cell-mediated immune function & the outcome of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

This study examined the importance of cell-mediated immunity
in determining the long-term outcome of patients diagnosed
with chronic fatigue syndrome (CSF). A total of 103 patients
(74%) of 139 previously enrolled in one of two treatment
trials conducted within a university hospital referral center
was reviewed a mean of 3.2 yr after trial entry. Ongoing
symptom severity, levels of disability and immunological
function were assessed at follow-up. The relationship between
immunological function at trial entry and measures of outcome
was also evaluated. Sixty-five patients (63%) had improved,
while only 6 (6%) reported no current symptoms. Thirty-one
subjects (30%) were unable to perform any form of work and 26
(25%) were on a disability benefit directly attributable to
CFS.

Cell-mediated immune function, as measured at trial entry
or follow-up, did not appear to affect outcome. Whilst
improvement occurred in the majority of patients with CFS, a
substantial proportion (37%) remained functionally impaired.
Impairment of cell-mediated immunological function measured
during the course of the illness may not be an important
factor in determining long-term outcome.

Wilson A, Hickie I, Lloyd A, Hadzi-Pavlovic D, Wakefield D

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