OBJECTIVE. To look for signs of immunodeficiencies and/or
longstanding infections underlying chronic fatigue syndrome
METHODS. Twenty-one patients fulfilling the Centers for
Disease Control criteria for CFS were compared to 21 age and
sex matched controls. A number of viral antibodies as well as
the following tests evaluating the immune system were studied:
autoantibody profile, cell surface markers on isolated blood
mononuclear cells, cytokine production, lymphocyte
proliferative responses, natural killer cell activity and
quantitation of immunoglobulin secreting cells.
Production in vitro of the predominantly T cell derived
cytokines interleukin 2 and interferon gamma was significantly
higher in patients with CFS compared to the control group.
Furthermore, the serum concentrations of IgA and IgE were
lower in patients with CFS; however, this difference was
caused by a larger number with values of IgA and IgE above the
upper limit of the normal range among the controls than among
the patients with CFS. All other variables were similar in the
CONCLUSION. A pathogenically significant imbalance of the
immune system in patients with CFS cannot be excluded.
However, evidence of a causal link between abnormal immunity
and CFS was not obtained.
Rasmussen AK, Nielsen H, Andersen V, Barington T, Bendtzen K, Hansen
MB, Nielsen L, Pedersen BK, Wiik A