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Thursday 16 March 2017


From Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior:


Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behaviour

Patients diagnosed with Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome also fit systemic exertion intolerance disease criteria

Lily Chu, Jane L. Norris, Ian J. Valencia & Jose G. Montoya
Pages 1-15 | Received 24 May 2016, Accepted 21 Feb 2017, Published online: 13 Mar 2017
Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited


Background: Myalgic encephalomyelitis/ chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) remains undiagnosed in up to 91% of patients. Recently, the United States-based Institute of Medicine (IOM) developed new diagnostic criteria, naming it systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID).

Purpose: We examined how subjects fit SEID criteria and existing ME/CFS case definitions early in their illness.

Methods: A total of 131 subjects fitting 1994 Fukuda CFS criteria at the time of study recruitment completed a survey of symptoms they experienced during their first 6 months of illness. Symptoms were drawn from SEID and existing criteria (1994 Fukuda, 2003 Canadian Consensus Criteria (CCC), and 2011 Myalgic Encephalomyelitis-International Consensus Criteria (ME-ICC)). We calculated and compared the number/percentage of subjects fitting single or combinations of case definitions and the number/percentage of subjects with SEID experiencing orthostatic intolerance (OI) and/or cognitive impairment.

Results: At 6 months of illness, SEID criteria identified 72% of all subjects, similar to when Fukuda criteria (79%) or the CCC (71%) were used, whereas the ME-ICC selected for a significantly lower percentage (61%, p < .001). When severity/frequency thresholds were added to the Fukuda criteria, CCC and ME-ICC, the percentage of these subjects also fitting SEID criteria increased to 93%, 97%, and 95%. Eighty-seven percent of SEID subjects endorsed cognitive impairment and 92%, OI; 79% experienced both symptoms.

Conclusions: SEID criteria categorize a similar percentage of subjects as Fukuda criteria early in the course of ME/CFS and contain the majority of subjects identified using other criteria while requiring fewer symptoms. The advantage of SEID may be in its ease of use.

KEYWORDS: Systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID)Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)diagnosisCanadian Consensus Criteria (CCC)Myalgic encephalomyelitis – international consensus criteria (ME-ICC)


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