What is the pathophysiology of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)?

Updated: Aug 29, 2018
  • Author: Jefferson R Roberts, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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CFS is a biological illness, not a psychologic disorder. The exact pathogenesis is unknown. Numerous mechanisms and molecules have been implicated that lead to abnormalities in immune dysfunction, hormonal regulation, metabolism and response to oxidative stress to include impaired natural killer cell function and/or T-cell function, elevated cytokines, and autoantibodies (rheumatic factor, antithyroid antibodies, antigliadin, anti–smooth muscle antibodies, and cold agglutinins). [3, 4] Infections have been suspected; however, no causal role has been established.

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