Fibromyalgia (FM) & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): similarities & differences

CFS and FM are clinical conditions characterized by a variety of

nonspecific symptoms including prominent fatigue, myalgia, and

sleep disturbances. There are no diagnostic studies or widely

accepted, pathogenic, explanatory models for either illness.

Despite remarkably different diagnostic criteria, CFS and FM

have many demographic and clinical similarities. More

specifically, few differences exist in the domains of

symptoms, examination findings, laboratory tests, functional

status, psychosocial features, and psychiatric disorders. FM

appears to represent an additional burden of suffering among

those with CFS, however, underscoring the importance of

recognizing concurrent CFS and FM. Further clarification of

the similarities (and differences) between CFS and FM may be

useful in studies of prognosis and help define subsets of

patients who may benefit from specific therapeutic


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