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Diagnostics 2016, 6(1), 10; doi:10.3390/diagnostics6010010

Replacing Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with Systemic Exercise Intolerance Disease Is Not the Way forward

ME-de-patiënten Foundation, Zonnedauw 15, 1906 HB Limmen, The Netherlands
Academic Editor: Andreas Kjaer
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 27 January 2016 / Accepted: 1 February 2016 / Published: 5 February 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1198 KB, uploaded 5 February 2016]   |  

Abstract

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), described in the medical literature since 1938, is characterized by distinctive muscular symptoms, neurological symptoms, and signs of circulatory impairment. The only mandatory feature of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), introduced in 1988 and redefined in 1994, is chronic fatigue, which should be accompanied by at least four or more out of eight “additional” symptoms. The use of the abstract, polythetic criteria of CFS, which define a heterogeneous patient population, and self-report has hampered both scientific progress and accurate diagnosis. To resolve the “diagnostic impasse” the Institute of Medicine proposes that a new clinical entity, systemic exercise intolerance disease (SEID), should replace the clinical entities ME and CFS. However, adopting SEID and its defining symptoms, does not resolve methodological and diagnostic issues. Firstly, a new diagnostic entity cannot replace two distinct, partially overlapping, clinical entities such as ME and CFS. Secondly, due to the nature of the diagnostic criteria, the employment of self-report, and the lack of criteria to exclude patients with other conditions, the SEID criteria seem to select an even more heterogeneous patient population, causing additional diagnostic confusion. This article discusses methodological and diagnostic issues related to SEID and proposes a methodological solution for the current “diagnostic impasse”. View Full-Text
Keywords: myalgic encephalomyelitis; chronic fatigue syndrome; systemic exercise intolerance disease; diagnosis; assessment myalgic encephalomyelitis; chronic fatigue syndrome; systemic exercise intolerance disease; diagnosis; assessment
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Twisk, F.N. Replacing Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with Systemic Exercise Intolerance Disease Is Not the Way forward. Diagnostics 2016, 6, 10.

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