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Myalgic encephalomyelitis: International Consensus Criteria
Article first published online: 22 AUG 2011
© 2011 The Association for the Publication of the Journal of Internal Medicine
Journal of Internal Medicine
Volume 270, Issue 4, pages 327–338, October 2011
How to Cite
Carruthers, B. M., van de Sande, M. I., De Meirleir, K. L., Klimas, N. G., Broderick, G., Mitchell, T., Staines, D., Powles, A. C. P., Speight, N., Vallings, R., Bateman, L., Baumgarten-Austrheim, B., Bell, D. S., Carlo-Stella, N., Chia, J., Darragh, A., Jo, D., Lewis, D., Light, A. R., Marshall-Gradisbik, S., Mena, I., Mikovits, J. A., Miwa, K., Murovska, M., Pall, M. L. and Stevens, S. (2011), Myalgic encephalomyelitis: International Consensus Criteria. Journal of Internal Medicine, 270: 327–338. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2011.02428.x
- Issue published online: 19 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 22 AUG 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 20 JUL 2011 11:38AM EST
- chronic fatigue syndrome;
- myalgic encephalomyelitis
Abstract. 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, Baumgarten-Austrheim B, Bell DS, Carlo-Stella N, Chia J, Darragh A, Jo D, Lewis D, Light AR, Marshall-Gradisbik S, Mena I, Mikovits JA, Murovska M, Pall ML, Stevens S (Independent, Vancouver, BC, 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, UK; 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, UK; Howick Health and Medical Centre, Howick, New Zealand; Fatigue Consultation Clinic, Salt Lake Regional Medical Center; 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, CA; 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; Departments or Anesthesiology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Robina, Queensland, Australia; Department of 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; Department of Sports Sciences, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA USA). Myalgic encephalomyelitis: International Consensus Criteria (Review). J Intern Med 2011; 270: 327–338.
The label ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’ (CFS) has persisted for many years because of the lack of knowledge of the aetiological agents and 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 patients with ME, 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 healthcare providers, improve the consistency of diagnoses in adult and paediatric patients internationally and facilitate clearer identification of patients for research studies.