This is a question that crops up with remarkable frequency on our MEA Facebook page and in queries sent into our ME Connect service
The latest discussion, which is still in progress, started two days ago:
COULD MY COSTOCHONDRITIS HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE COXSACKIE VIRUS WHICH AFFECTED ME OVER 20 YEARS AGO?
Can anyone give me some advice? I was diagnosed with ME over 20 years ago after I had coxsackie virus.
Can this virus stay in the body particularly coxsackie B and flare up at anytime?
I have been very unwell recently with ? costochondritis. ER x 3 times all tests came back negative for heart, lungs etc but I'm wondering if this has anything to do with coxsackie and should I ask GP for a virus blood test. Many thanks folks xox
Dr Charles Shepherd, our medical adviser, comments:
I'm very sorry to hear about all the problems you are facing with the management of your ? costochondritis.
I hope you will appreciate that as a doctor I cannot provide individual advice on either diagnosis or management over the internet>
This is something that has to be done in the consulting room with a doctor who knows your full past and current clinical history, examination findings, and the results of all relevant investigations.
What I can say in general terms is that the type of pain you describe –costochondritis – does appear to be more common in ME/CFS and is something that we discuss on MEA Facebook from time to time.
The last MEAF discussion, which you may find helpful to look at, was on October 18.
I would also add that a similar problem called Bornholm's disease can can be linked to coxsackie B virus infection, which can also trigger ME/CFS<
There is conflicting research evidence regarding the possibility that persisting enteroviral (including coxsackie) infection plays a role in ME/CFS. Professor Peter Behan's group in Glasgow came to the conclusion that there was no evidence of a link whereas John Chia in America has published evidence supporting a link in at least a sub-group of people with ME/CFS. There is more info in the research section of the MEA purple book if you want to pursue.
Useful information on costochondritis:
It sounds as though your GP would benefit from having a copy of the new edition of the MEA purple booklet.