COMMENTARY

A Revised Approach for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH

Disclosures

April 09, 2018

Hello. I'm Dr Arefa Cassoobhoy, a practicing internist, Medscape advisor, and senior medical director for WebMD. Welcome to Medscape Morning Report, our 1-minute news story for primary care.

Currently, chronic fatigue syndrome, which is now called myalgic encephalomyelitis syndrome or ME/CFS, has no cure. But a recent summit concluded that there is much we can do to improve patients' symptoms and quality of life.

The multispecialty group endorsed the 2015 Institute of Medicine diagnostic criteria of unexplained fatigue with substantial functional impairment, postexertional malaise, unrefreshing sleep, and either cognitive dysfunction or orthostatic intolerance.

The symptoms must be present at least 50% of the time over the course of 6 months. The group emphasizes consideration of tools to assess functional capacity, orthostatic intolerance, and autonomic dysregulation. They also encourage testing for differential diagnoses and comorbid conditions.

Ultimately, physicians should approach ME/CFS with an open mind and with a focus on individualizing treatment and addressing patients' most bothersome symptoms.

Follow Dr Cassoobhoy on Twitter at @ArefaMD

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