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Autonomic Phenotypes in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Are Associated with Illness Severity: A Cluster Analysis

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Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology, Ergonomy and Postgraduate Education, Ludwik Rydygier Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, M. Sklodowskiej-Curie 9, 85-094 Bydgoszcz, Poland
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Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, PO Box 2040 Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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Department of Human Physiology, Ludwik Rydygier Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Karłowicza 24, 85-092 Bydgoszcz, Poland
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Nuffield Department of Women’s & Reproductive Health, The Women Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK
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Institute of Microbiology and Virology, Riga Stradiņš University, LV-1067 Riga, Latvia
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Population Health Science Institute, The Medical School, Newcastle University, Framlington Place, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE2 4HH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(8), 2531; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9082531
Received: 15 July 2020 / Revised: 3 August 2020 / Accepted: 4 August 2020 / Published: 5 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology & Public Health)
In this study we set out to define the characteristics of autonomic subgroups of patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). The study included 131 patients with CFS (Fukuda criteria). Participants completed the following screening symptom assessment tools: Chalder Fatigue Scale, Fatigue Impact Scale, Fatigue Severity Scale, Epworth Sleepiness Scales, the self-reported Composite Autonomic Symptom Scale. Autonomic parameters were measured at rest with a Task Force Monitor (CNS Systems) and arterial stiffness using an Arteriograph (TensioMed Kft.). Principal axis factor analysis yielded four factors: fatigue, subjective and objective autonomic dysfunction and arterial stiffness. Using cluster analyses, these factors were grouped in four autonomic profiles: 34% of patients had sympathetic symptoms with dysautonomia, 5% sympathetic alone, 21% parasympathetic and 40% had issues with sympathovagal balance. Those with a sympathetic-dysautonomia phenotype were associated with more severe disease, reported greater subjective autonomic symptoms with sympathetic over-modulation and had the lowest quality of life. The highest quality of life was observed in the balance subtype where subjects were the youngest, had lower levels of fatigue and the lowest values for arterial stiffness. Future studies will aim to design autonomic profile-specific treatment interventions to determine links between autonomic phenotypes CFS and a specific treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: autonomic; chronic fatigue; quality of life autonomic; chronic fatigue; quality of life
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Słomko, J.; Estévez-López, F.; Kujawski, S.; Zawadka-Kunikowska, M.; Tafil-Klawe, M.; Klawe, J.J.; Morten, K.J.; Szrajda, J.; Murovska, M.; Newton, J.L.; Zalewski, P., on behalf of the European Network on ME/CFS (EUROMENE); Autonomic Phenotypes in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Are Associated with Illness Severity: A Cluster Analysis. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 2531.

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