Insulin-like growth factor-I (somatomedin C) levels in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) & fibromyalgia (FM)

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OBJECTIVE. Fibromyalgia (FM) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are

similar conditions characterized by substantial fatigue,

diffuse myalgias, sleep disturbances and a variety of other

symptoms. Many patients with CFS meet strict criteria for FM.

Recently, low insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) levels have

been demonstrated in patients with FM, suggesting that

disruption of the growth hormone-IGF-I axis might explain the

link between the muscle pain and poor sleep. Our goal was to

determine whether IGF-I levels are decreased in CFS, and

whether such findings are restricted to patients with

concurrent FM.

METHODS. Radioimmunoassays were used to

determine serum concentrations of IGF-I and its binding

protein, (IGFBP-3). Subjects were 3 patients seen in a

referral clinic for chronic fatigue: 15 patients with CFS, 15

who met criteria for both CFS and FM (CFS-FM), 27 with FM

alone; and 15 healthy control (HC) subjects.

RESULTS. Patients

and control subjects had similar demographic and clinical

characteristics. No significant differences were observed

among any of the 3 patient groups and control subjects in the

mean concentration of either IGF-I or IGFBP-3. Likewise, the

proportion of subjects with values above or below the

laboratory’s reference range did not differ for IGF-I or

IGFBP-3.

CONCLUSIONS. These findings suggest the disruption of

the growth hormone-IGF-I axis previously demonstrated in FM

patients is not evident in a referral population of patients

with CFS, CFS-FM, or FM.

MCM: Found no significant differences in serum concentrations

of IGF-I and its binding protein IGFBP-3 among 15 pts w CFS,

15 w CFS plus FM, 27 w FM alone, and 15 healthy controls.

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