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In the last decade, a group of chronic disorders associated with fatigue (CDAF) emerged as the leading cause of chronic fatigue, chronic pain, and functional impairment, all of which have been often labeled in clinical practice as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or fibromyalgia. While these chronic disorders arise from various pathophysiologic mechanisms, a shared autoimmune or immune-mediated etiology could shift the focus from symptomatic treatment of fatigue and pain to targeted immunomodulatory and biological therapy.
A clinical paradigm shift is necessary to reevaluate CFS and fibromyalgia diagnoses and its relationship to the CDAF entities, which would ultimately lead to a change in diagnostic and therapeutic algorithm for patients with chronic fatigue and chronic pain. Rather than uniformly apply the diagnoses of CFS or fibromyalgia to any patient presenting with unexplained chronic fatigue or chronic pain, it may be more beneficial and therapeutically effective to stratify these patients into more specific diagnoses in the CDAF group.
Source: Blitshteyn S, Chopra P. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: From Chronic Fatigue to More Specific Syndromes. Eur Neurol. 2018 Oct 4;80(1-2):73-77. doi: 10.1159/000493531. [Epub ahead of print]