Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: International Consensus Criteria Abstract


Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: International Consensus Criteria (Abstract)

J Intern Med. 2011 Jul 20. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2011.02428.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: International Consensus Criteria.


Independent, Vancouver, B.C., Canada Independent, Calgary, AB, Canada Department of Physiology and Medicine, Vrije University of Brussels, Himmunitas Foundation, Brussels, Belgium. Department of Medicine,University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Miami, FL, USA Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada Honorary Consultant for NHS at Peterborough/Cambridge, Lowestoft, Suffolk, United Kingdom. Gold Coast Public Health Unit, Southport, Queensland; Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Robina, Queensland, Australia Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University and St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton, ON, Canada. Independent, Durham, United Kingdom Howick Health and Medical Centre, Howick, New Zealand. Fatigue Consultation Clinic, Salt Lake Regional Medical Center: adjunct faculty - Internal Medicine, Family Practice, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA. ME/CFS Center, Oslo University Hospital HF, Norway. Department of Paediatrics, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY. Independent, Pavia, Italy Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, University of California, Los Angeles; EV Med Research, Lomita, CA, USA University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland Pain Clinic, Konyang University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea Donvale Specialist Medical Centre, Donvale, Victoria, Australia Depts or Anesthesiology, Neurobiology and Anatomy,University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Robina, Queensland, Australia. Depart. Medicina Nuclear, Clinica Las Condes, Santiago, Chile Whittemore Peterson Institute, University of Nevada, Reno, NV USA Miwa Naika Clinic, Toyama, Japan A. Kirchenstein Institute of Microbiology and Virology, Riga Stradins University, Riga, Latvia Department of Biochemistry & Basic Medical Sciences, Washington State University, Portland, OR, USA Department of Sports Sciences, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA USA.


The label "chronic fatigue syndrome" (CFS) has persisted for many years because of lack of knowledge of the etiological agents and of the disease process. In view of more recent research and clinical experience that strongly point to widespread inflammation and multisystemic neuropathology, it is more appropriate and correct to use the term "myalgic encephalomyelitis"(ME) because it indicates an underlying pathophysiology. It is also consistent with the neurological classification of ME in the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases (ICD G93.3). Consequently, an International Consensus Panel consisting of clinicians, researchers, teaching faculty and an independent patient advocate was formed with the purpose of developing criteria based on current knowledge. Thirteen countries and a wide range of specialties were represented. Collectively, members have approximately 400 years of both clinical and teaching experience, authored hundreds of peer reviewed publications, diagnosed or treated approximately 50,000 ME patients, and several members coauthored previous criteria. The expertise and experience of the panel members as well as PubMed and other medical sources were utilized in a progression of suggestions/drafts/reviews/revisions. The authors, free of any sponsoring organization, achieved 100% consensus through a Delphi type process. The scope of this paper is limited to criteria of ME and their application. Accordingly, the criteria reflect the complex symptomatology. Operational notes enhance clarity and specificity by providing guidance in the expression and interpretation of symptoms. Clinical and research application guidelines promote optimal recognition of ME by primary physicians and other health care providers, improve consistency of diagnoses in adult and paediatric patients internationally, and facilitate clearer identification of patients for research studies.

Copyright © 2011 The Association for the Publication of the Journal of Internal Medicine.

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