im still kinda reacting to these... i keep runing to the bathroom to see if they are still there.... the funny thing is, ive known they were there the whole time... but i never really recalled what my throat looked like back there before i got sick... when i got sick i knew it looked more red... but i assumed it was just allergies or something... ive had some breathing issues off and on... but i take NAC which clears a lot of mucus and i think it helps with my breathing.... i dunno
Thank you for this and for the awesome pictures! I have learned something new today and I thought it was not possible anymore (after 4 years of researching and looking for CFS facts). I have just joined this group and I'm pretty happy I have done so. I'm from Canada and I am surprised that my doctor/many specialists have never mentioned the CC's in my mouth (present for at least the last five years). Afterall, the Canadian Consensus was written here. Maybe my doc does not know about them or thinks that everyone has them, too?
I'm surprised that there are only a few doctors aware of this and noone else is picking it up. It is probably not specific enough and could pinpoint to other diseases as well.
Could anyone who has a perfectly normal throat post a picture, as well? It would be so appreciated!
I'm pretty sure my daughter has them. She is 10, and already shows signs of CFS/fibro. Each time, she gets exhausted, she ends up with cold sores on her bottow lip. They get bigger and bigger. It's probably related to her immune system that is not working properly. My husband is also getting sick. It's hard to tell - he is fine one day and not the next. For the first time, last week, he told me: "I believe I have what you have." (and this time around, he was not joking!). It kind of made me feel good since I had the conviction (for the first time) that he thought my condition was genuine. I will have to check my son's throat. He is very athletic and ends up pretty dead (needs a couple of days to recuperate) after a day of intense biking.
Since the XMRV discovery, I am starting to think that I have infected everyone. I'm really worried about that. But, how could I have prevented this from happening if I didn't know what caused it in the first place?
By the way, my CC's are bright red, inflamed. I've had a sore throat, earache, headache (non stop) since November 2005. Since we could not find anything wrong, my doctor gave me some benzydamine HCL to numb my throat. It does not work well, and lately, it burns my throat more. I'll have to find something else that works. Anyone else dealing with the same issues? Solutions?
I think I will add a picture of my own crimson crescent here (in the singular, because I only have one crimson crescent, located on one side of my throat):
The Crimson Crescent In My Throat:
The location of my crimson crescent roughy coincides with the area where I had the herpangina sore throat from the respiratory virus I caught a decade ago — the virus that I am fairly sure led to my ME/CFS.
Herpangina sore throats are a type of sore throat involving red inflamed tissue on and around the back arch of the soft palette (called the palatoglossal arch), either on just one side of this arch, or on both sides.
It's useful to see some pictures: you can see images of herpangina sore throats here.
When I caught my virus (which Dr Chia said was most likely an enterovirus, based on its array of symptoms), I only experienced the herpangina on one side of the palatoglossal arch in my throat — the same side where you now see my crimson crescent.
So this indicates that crimson crescents may be the long term sequelae of the original herpangina. The evidence I can offer for this is that my single crimson crescent appeared on the same side of the throat where my original herpangina sore throat red inflammation was located; but on the other side of my throat, where I had no herpangina, I have no crimson crescent.
This phenomenon of herpangina red inflammation later turning into crimson crescents may offer further evidence that the original virus remains chronically active in ME/CFS patients: the crimson crescents might conceivably be a tissue site containing a low level, smoldering enterovirus infection deriving from the original virus.
Herpangina sore throats are generally only caused by certain viruses of the enterovirus genus, namely coxsackievirus B, coxsackievirus A16, and enterovirus 71.
ME/CFS is of course strongly linked to coxsackievirus B.
More rarely herpangina may be due to echovirus (also from the enterovirus genus), parechovirus 1, adenovirus, and herpes simplex virus. Reference: here.
I've had my tonsils out, by the way, which lends a different appearance to the throat.
The white tongue coating you see in my throat picture is not thrush, incidentally, but geographic tongue (migratory glossitis). My tongue coating appeared within weeks of catching the respiratory virus that led to my chronic fatigue syndrome, and this white coating is now a permanent symptom I have had for a decade.
There's very little research into geographic tongue, but I know a medical researcher who developed a similar persistent white tongue coating after catching a chronic viral infection similar to mine, and he put some of his tongue coating under a microscope, and was able to observe that the white coating comprised dead macrophages.
i have both crescents and i have hypothyroidism and tested positive for Anti-TPO. could they be somehow related. i dont know what is XMRV and my ENT doctor and my Endocrinologist would say my mouth is fine. some days i feel the sore some days i dont. i just gave birth a year ago and they keep saying that grave's disease is common to flare after giving birth.
I have it both sides, plus the ever swollen submandibular lymph nodes to go with it.
The only thing I found on it, aside from CFS and Lyme, says:
One hallmark symptom of systemic mycoplasma infection, which results from abnormal stimulation of cytokines, involves a chronic red discoloration of the anterior pharyngeal pillars. Often referred to as 'crimson crescents,'
I know this is an old thread, but I came across it the other day (then of course spent some time staring at my throat with a torch and a mirror!) I also have the crimson crescents.
Is there any more known about crimson crescents and ME/CFS?
I'm struggling to find more recent information online.
If it's not already been mentioned in this thread, I seem to remember Anthony Komaroff, in his summary at the 11th International IACFS/ME conference last year, mentions crimson crescents as a recurring outward sign in ME/CFS patients. I'm trying to find the point in his presentation where he mentions it, but not having much success at the moment. Fortunately, it is mentioned on page 14 of the following document.
It's mentioned here, but I've read it also in a quite recent and dependable source.
Below is the relevant passage from the link:
"In chronic fatigue you always find the crescents alone. The rest of the pharynx is uninvolved," he said. There is a small portion of the normal population that may also present with these crescents. "If you get a patient with a sore throat in the office, he or she can have crimson crescents, and the back of the throat is red," Cunha said. Cunha found crimson crescents in 3% to 5% of non-chronic fatigue patients who presented with non-specific sore throats.
My hunch is that crimson crescents might be the chronic manifestation of the original viral sore throat that is often a precursor to ME/CFS. My idea is that the crimson crescents are just areas in the mouth where the viral infection is still ongoing. Dr Chia found evidence of ongoing enteroviral infection in the stomach of ME/CFS patients, and the crimson crescents might be simpy an ongoing enteroviral infection in the mouth.
And I guess it's possible that someone may have caught such a chronic throat infection, manifesting as crimson crescents, but without developing ME/CFS.
My hunch is that crimson crescents might be the chronic manifestation of the original viral sore throat that is often a precursor to ME/CFS. My idea is that the crimson crescents are just areas in the mouth where the viral infection is still ongoing.
Thanks for your reply!
My own layman's interpretation runs along similar lines, but I don't really know enough about the manifestations of viruses to be able to say whether it's tenable.
Six months into my illness an ENT consultant had a thorough look down my throat. I had had laryngitis and pharyngitis, as well as crimson crescents, since getting the virus that accompanied the onset of my illness. I pointed out the crimson crescents (I didn't know to refer to them by that name at the time, but I had noticed their presence since the start of the illness) and he said oh it's just because you've got an URT. I said I'd had the same URT for over six months. He said no, that's impossible; you got over the original one and now you have a new one.
It was useless trying to convince him otherwise. This was the moment to which I can date my awakening to the nightmare realisation that, in addition to having this illness, I was probably condemned to have any future assertions that I had a chronic infection (or at least a chronic condition) of some kind disbelieved. So far the realisation has proved well-founded.
The crimson crescents remain as conspicuous as they were 18 months ago. The pharyngitis/laryngitis have waned a little though they can return with a vengeance at short notice as part of the dreaded PEM.
A while ago I had some communication with Dr John Chia about these crimson crescents, and suggested to him that the crimson crescent tissues might contain the virus from the original sore throat that led to ME/CFS. These crimson crescent tissues, I thought, might be an easy area to access for tissue biopsies, compared to taking tissue biopsies from the stomach using an endoscope, which is Dr Chia's gold standard way of detecting enterovirus in his ME/CFS patients.
Dr Chia said (in an email):
"We have not looked crimson cresent since biopsy of this area usually need more anesthesia and is quite painful. One patient who had 5 biopsies of the throat because of persistent sore throat tested positive for enterovirus protein in the posterior tongue tonsils but negative in all the other ares of the throat including the red areas. This may be good to do but probably more invasive than a stomach biopsy, which does not usually cause much pain afterwards."
I wonder, though, if he had tested the red throat areas specifically for non-cytolytic enteroviruses, would he have obtained a positive result?
In adult coxsackievirus B myocarditis (which is considered a useful viral infection model of ME/CFS), you find enterovirus RNA in heart muscle tissues, but you can only very rarely isolate the live virus from these muscle tissues.† This indicates the heart muscle hosts a non-cytolytic enterovirus infection, but not the normal lytic infection. So like with the heart muscle tissues, perhaps in the crimson crescents contain only non-cytolytic enteroviruses.
I need to talk to my Dr about possible CFS. I suffer from Anemia, allergies, and Migraines, but I've had this unexplainable muscle and joint pain and fatigue so strong in the morning I pass out at my desk. And sometimes I get weakness just in my hands that I really notice. Sometimes I have a hard time gripping things or writing. It's odd. My anemia is improving, so I didn't understand. I've been getting soreness in my throat that isn't in the back, it's like on each side of the uvula and it's red. Is this the crimson crescents?
I had my Tonsils removed March 2014 at 27 years old due to recurring tonsillitis. I had Bronchitis really bad for 2 months in July-August 2015 preceeded by a bad ear infection. They had me on a total of 5 courses of antibiotics. I've had these things in my throat and the joint/muscle pain ever since. There's no swelling or anything, the muscles and joints just hurt really bad.
I don't have Celiac disease or a thyroid disorder. I don't have diabetes, high blood pressure, or anything like that. My current conditions consist of allergies, IBSD, iron deficient anemia (hemoglobin currently at 9.6 and improving), familial and ocular migraines, chronic idiopathic urticaria, insomnia, recurring renal calculus, hidradenitis suppurativa. I tend to have issues with my immune system which is why they took my tonsils. It improved how often I was getting respiratory illnesses. My mom has CIDP and Peripheral Neuropathy, but I show negative for these also thankfully. I've tried to attribute the pain and fatigue to anemia or diet and exercise, but none of the improvements seem to be helping and I didn't start feeling this way til long after the anemia was improving.