List of differential diagnoses for ME/CFS

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Many different diagnoses have been suggest for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).[1][2][3] A number of the common differential diagnoses also commonly occur in patients with ME/CFS, so they should not be regarded as conditions that automatically exclude the diagnosis of ME/CFS.[2][1]

ME/CFS[edit | edit source]

Differential diagnosis Fukuda criteria[3] International Consensus Criteria[1]:12 Canadian Consensus Criteria[2] Institute of Medicine Other
Idiopathic chronic fatigue yes  ?  ?  ?  ?
Fibromyalgia  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
Chronic fatigue due to another medical condition  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
Unexplained chronic fatigue  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
Primary sleep disorders e.g. sleep apnea  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
Lyme disease  ?  ? yes  ?  ?
Depression  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
Lupus  ?  ? yes  ?  ?
Multiple sclerosis  ?  ?  ? yes  ?
Myasthenia gravis  ?  ?  ? yes  ?
Rheumatoid arthritis  ?  ? yes  ?  ?
Endocrine diseases e.g., Addison’s disease  ?  ? yes  ?  ?
Depression  ?  ?  ?  ? Hawk et al. 2006[4], Griffith et al. 2008[5], DeLuca et al. 2004[6]

Other differential diagnoses[edit | edit source]

Notable articles[edit | edit source]

  • 1994, Consideration of narcolepsy in the differential diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome[9] - (Abstract)
  • 1998, Phosphate diabetes in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome[10] - (Abstract)
  • 2000, Differential diagnosis: The challenge of chronic fatigue[7] - (Full text)
"Many syndromes and diseases have the symptom of chronic fatigue as the most distressing, unremitting complaint. It is the consideration of these other possible causes - their confirmation or exclusion - which constitutes the discipline of ditferential diagnosis. Syndromes which are "look alikes," or indeed identical syndromes, include post-viral states, chronic viraemias, neoplastic syndromes, neurological diseases, especially in the eariy substantial stages of neuromuscular disease, psychiatric disorders, and some forms of both organic and inorganic poisoning. To mislabel any one of these as CFS or ME, or to leave a patient with CFS undiagnosed as such, means the discipline of differential diagnosis has failed."[7]:4-5


See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.01.11.2 Carruthers, BM; van de Sande, MI; De Meirleir, KL; Klimas, NG; Broderick, G; Mitchell, T; Staines, D; Powles, ACP; Speight, N; Vallings, R; Bateman, L; Bell, DS; Carlo-Stella, N; Chia, J; Darragh, A; Gerken, A; Jo, D; Lewis, DP; Light, AR; Light, KC; Marshall-Gradisnik, S; McLaren-Howard, J; Mena, I; Miwa, K; Murovska, M; Stevens, SR (2012), Myalgic encephalomyelitis: Adult & Paediatric: International Consensus Primer for Medical Practitioners (PDF), ISBN 978-0-9739335-3-6
  2. 2.02.12.22.3 Carruthers, Bruce M.; Jain, Anil Kumar; De Meirleir, Kenny L.; Peterson, Daniel L.; Klimas, Nancy G.; Lerner, A. Martin; Bested, Alison C.; Flor-Henry, Pierre; Joshi, Pradip; Powles, A C Peter; Sherkey, Jeffrey A.; van de Sande, Marjorie I. (2003), "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Clinical Working Case Definition, Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols" (PDF), Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 11 (2): 7-115, doi:10.1300/J092v11n01_02
  3. 3.03.1 Fukuda, K.; Straus, S. E.; Hickie, I.; Sharpe, M. C.; Dobbins, J. G.; Komaroff, A. (December 15, 1994). "The chronic fatigue syndrome: a comprehensive approach to its definition and study. International Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Study Group" (PDF). Annals of Internal Medicine. American College of Physicians. 121 (12): 953–959. ISSN 0003-4819. PMID 7978722.
  4. 4.04.1 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1207/s15327558ijbm1303_8
  5. 5.05.1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc2292451/
  6. 6.06.1 https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=XXTe-ft0YUsC&oi=fnd&pg=PA421&dq=%22Chronic+fatigue+syndrome%22&ots=CSKE8dKeiB&sig=5d6xpPVN1zqnuK7VD-Qim1giGOM
  7. 7.07.17.2 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J092v07n04_03
  8. 8.08.1 https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA80490865&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=10895159&p=AONE&sw=w
  9. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.5694/j.1326-5377.1994.tb138269.x
  10. https://pmj.bmj.com/content/74/870/229.short

myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.

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