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Clinical Characteristics of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Diagnosed in Patients with Long COVID, 2022, Tokumasu et al

Discussion in 'ME/CFS research' started by Sly Saint, Jun 25, 2022.

  1. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    This is an early access version, the complete PDF, HTML, and XML versions will be available soon.


    Background and Objectives:

    COVID-19 can be serious not only in the acute phase but also after the acute phase and some patients develop ME/CFS. There have been few studies on patients with long COVID in whom ME/CFS was diagnosed by physicians based on standardized criteria after examinations and exclusion diagnosis and not based on only subjective symptoms.
    The purpose of this study was to elucidate the detailed characteristics of ME/CFS in patients with long COVID.

    Materials and Methods:

    A retrospective descriptive study was performed for patients who visited a COVID-19 aftercare clinic established in Okayama University Hospital during the period was from February 2021 to April 2022.

    Clinical data were obtained from medical records for 281 patients, and 279 patients who met the definition of long COVID were included. The overall prevalence rate of ME/CFS diagnosed by three sets of ME/CFS criteria (Fukuda, Canadian and IOM criteria) was 16.8% (48.9% in male and 51.1% in females). The most frequent symptoms in ME/CFS patients were general fatigue and post-exertional malaise (89.4% of the patients), headache (34.0%), insomnia (23.4%), dysosmia (21.3%) and dysgeusia (19.1%). Dizziness, chest pain, insomnia and headache were characteristic symptoms related to ME/CFS. The male to female ratio in ME/CFS patients was equal in the present study, although ME/CFS was generally more common in women in previous studies. Given that patients with ME/CFS had more severe conditions in the acute phase of COVID-19, the severity of the acute infectious state might be involved in the pathophysiology of ME/CFS.

    The prevalence rate of ME/CFS and the characteristic sequelae in the long COVID condition were revealed in this study.

    mango, Hutan, Wyva and 13 others like this.
  2. Simone

    Simone Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    The authors don’t mention that, out of the 279 Long COVID patients in their sample, only 46 have been sick longer than 6 months. These studies need to only include patients sick longer than 6 months for them to be of any use.
  3. RedFox

    RedFox Established Member

    Agreed. It's also strange that they used the Fukuda criteria, which is outdated because it doesn't require PEM.
    Trish and Peter Trewhitt like this.
  4. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

    I think that the data on symptoms collected on the first visit were not all that was used to diagnose someone with ME/CFS. It seems as though patients did have to be ill for more than 6 months to be diagnosed .

    I do wonder if the researchers knew what PEM is - it always seems to be mentioned in this study together with fatigue. Findings that ME/CFS incidence is more prevalent in those who had more severe Covid infections (as is the case with this study) always make me wonder about the accuracy of the ME/CFS diagnosis.

    LOH syndrome? Late Onset Hypo-gonadism in males (testosterone deficiency syndrome).
    Trish and Peter Trewhitt like this.

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