ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia: Definitions, Similarities, and Differences.

Clin Ther. 2019 Feb 19. pii: S0149-2918(19)30003-7. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2018.12.016. [Epub ahead of print]
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia: Definitions, Similarities, and Differences.
Natelson BH1.
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This commentary presents a simplified way of making the diagnosis of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) using the 1994 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention case definition. The format used can easily be modified for other case definitions. The commentary then discusses whether ME/CFS is the same or a different illness from fibromyalgia.

Because overlap exists between the 2 syndromes, some investigators have posited that they are variants of the same illness. I have viewed this as an empirically testable hypothesis and have summoned considerable amounts of data that suggest that the 2 illnesses differ. Were differences to exist, that would suggest different pathophysiologic processes for each, leading to different treatments.

Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.
fatigue; overlap; pain; unexplained illness
PMID: 30795933 DOI: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2018.12.016