Diagnostic methods for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: A systematic review for a national institutes of health pathways to prevention workshop

Elizabeth Haney, M. E. Beth Smith, Marian McDonagh, Miranda Pappas, Monica Daeges, Ngoc Wasson, Heidi D. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The diagnosis of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/ chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is based on clinical criteria, yet there has been no consensus regarding which set of criteria best identifies patients with the condition. The Institute of Medicine has recently proposed a new case definition and diagnostic algorithm. Purpose: To review methods to diagnose ME/CFS in adults and identify research gaps and needs for future research. Data Sources: MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Cochrane databases (January 1988 to September 2014); clinical trial registries; and reference lists. Study Selection: English-language studies describing methods of diagnosis of ME/CFS and their accuracy. Data Extraction: Data on participants, study design, analysis, follow-up, and results were extracted and confirmed. Study quality was dual-rated by using prespecified criteria, and discrepancies were resolved through consensus. Data Synthesis: Forty-four studies met inclusion criteria. Eight case definitions have been used to define ME/CFS; a ninth, recently proposed by the Institute of Medicine, includes principal elements of previous definitions. Patients meeting criteria for ME represent a more symptomatic subset of the broader ME/CFS population. Scales rating self-reported symptoms differentiate patients with ME/CFS from healthy controls under study conditions but have not been evaluated in clinically undiagnosed patients to determine validity and generalizability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)834-840
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Volume162
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 16 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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