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METHODS: Patients were referred to hospital for investigations and rehabilitation due to a suspected diagnosis of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). The criteria for further referral to full-night polysomnography (PSG) were symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness and/or tiredness in the questionnaires.
RESULTS: Of a total of 381 patients, 78 (20.5%) underwent PSG: 66 women and 12 men, mean age 48.6, standard deviation ±9.9 years. On the basis of the PSG, 31 (40.3%) patients were diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea, 7 (8.9%) patients with periodic limb movement disorder, 32 (41.0%) patients with restless legs syndrome, and 54 (69.3%) patients had one or more other sleep disorder. All patients were grouped into those who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for ME/CFS (n = 55, 70.5%) and those who did not (n = 23, 29.5%). The latter group had significantly higher respiratory (p = 0.01) and total arousal (p = 0.009) indexes, and a higher oxygen desaturation index (p = 0.009).
CONCLUSIONS: More than half of these chronic fatigue patients, who also have excessive daytime sleepiness and/or tiredness, were diagnosed with sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnoea, periodic limb movement disorder and/or restless legs syndrome. Patients with such complaints should undergo polysomnography, fill in questionnaires, and be offered treatment for sleep disorders before the diagnose ME/CFS is set. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Source: Pajediene E, Bileviciute-Ljungar I, Friberg D. Sleep patterns among patients with chronic fatigue: a polysomnography-based study. Clin Respir J. 2017 Jul 28. doi: 10.1111/crj.12667. [Epub ahead of print]