II. Diagnosis: CDC Criteria (1994)

  1. Major Criteria (both criteria required)
    1. Severe Fatigue >6 months
      1. Persistent or relapsing in course
      2. Does not resolve with bed rest
      3. Significant reduction in average daily activity (below 50% of prior activity)
    2. Other causes excluded
      1. See Fatigue Causes
  2. Minor Criteria (4 or more present for 6 months)
    1. Headache
      1. New type, severity or pattern
      2. Typically non-focal Headache
    2. Migratory Polyarthralgias
      1. Non-inflammatory (no swelling or erythema)
    3. Myalgias
    4. Postexertional malaise or Fatigue
      1. Duration >24 hours
    5. Short-term memory or concentration impaired
    6. Pharyngitis
    7. Tender cervical or axillary adenopathy
    8. Non-restorative sleep
  3. References
    1. Fukada (1994) Ann Intern Med 121(12): 953-9 [PubMed]

III. Diagnosis: Oxford Criteria

  1. Fatigue is primary symptom
  2. Timing
    1. Onset at a definite point in time
    2. Duration 6 months or greater
    3. Present at least 50% of time
  3. Severity
    1. Severe and disabling
    2. Affects physical and cognitive functioning
  4. Associated symptoms (at least one must be present)
    1. Myalgias
    2. Mood Disorder
    3. Sleep disorder
  5. Symptoms not due to alternative diagnosis
    1. Established medical condition known to cause Fatigue
    2. Established neurologic or psychiatric disorder
      1. Schizophrenia
      2. Bipolar Disorder
      3. Substance Abuse
      4. Eating Disorder
      5. CNS disorder
  6. References
    1. Sharpe (1991) J R Soc Med 84(2): 118-21 [PubMed]

IV. Diagnosis: Old CDC Criteria - modification history

  1. Earlier CDC 1988 guidelines required 6 minor criteria
    1. Included those listed above
    2. Other criteria present in prior guidelines
      1. Initial symptom onset acute or subacute
      2. Mild fever (37.5 - 38.6 Celsius) or chills
      3. Generalized Muscle Weakness
      4. Neuropsychiatric Symptoms
        1. Photophobia
        2. Transient visual scotomata
        3. Excessive irritability
        4. Confusion
        5. Difficult thinking
        6. Inability to concentrate
        7. Major Depression
  2. Earlier CDC 1988 guidelines required physical sign documentation
    1. Prior guidelines (not required by CDC)
      1. Two or more signs must be documented
      2. Physician must document each sign twice
      3. Signs must be present for longer than 1 month
    2. Criteria
      1. Low grade fever (37.6 - 38.6)
      2. Non-Exudative Pharyngitis
      3. Palpable or tender Lymph Nodes (size <2 cm)
        1. Anterior or Posterior Cervical Lymphadenopathy
        2. Axillary Lymphadenopathy
  3. References
    1. Holms (1988) Ann Intern Med 108:387-9 [PubMed]
    2. Levine (1997) Am J Med 105:35 [PubMed]

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Related Studies

Ontology: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (C0015674)

Definition (MEDLINEPLUS)

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disorder that causes extreme fatigue. This fatigue is not the kind of tired feeling that goes away after you rest. Instead, it lasts a long time and limits your ability to do ordinary daily activities.

The main symptom of CFS is severe fatigue that lasts for 6 months or more. You also have at least four of these other symptoms:

  • Feeling unwell for more than 24 hours after physical activity
  • Muscle pain
  • Memory problems
  • Headaches
  • Pain in multiple joints
  • Sleep problems
  • Sore throat
  • Tender lymph nodes

CFS is hard to diagnose. There are no tests for it, and other illnesses can cause similar symptoms. Your doctor has to rule out other diseases before making a diagnosis of CFS.

No one knows what causes CFS. It is most common in women in their 40s and 50s, but anyone can have it. It can last for years. There is no cure for CFS, so the goal of treatment is to improve symptoms. Medicine may treat pain, sleep disorders, and other problems. Lifestyle changes, coping techniques, and a special, gradual exercise program can also help.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Definition (NCI_NCI-GLOSS) A condition lasting for more than 6 months in which a person feels tired most of the time and may have trouble concentrating and carrying out daily activities. Other symptoms include sore throat, fever, muscle weakness, headache, and joint pain.
Definition (NCI) A syndrome of unknown etiology. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a clinical diagnosis characterized by an unexplained persistent or relapsing chronic fatigue that is of at least six months' duration, is not the result of ongoing exertion, is not substantially alleviated by rest, and results in substantial reduction of previous levels of occupational, educational, social, or personal activities. Common concurrent symptoms of at least six months duration include impairment of memory or concentration, diffuse pain, sore throat, tender lymph nodes, headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity, and nonrestorative sleep. The etiology of CFS may be viral or immunologic. Neurasthenia and fibromyalgia may represent related disorders. Also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis.
Definition (MSH) A syndrome characterized by persistent or recurrent fatigue, diffuse musculoskeletal pain, sleep disturbances, and subjective cognitive impairment of 6 months duration or longer. Symptoms are not caused by ongoing exertion; are not relieved by rest; and result in a substantial reduction of previous levels of occupational, educational, social, or personal activities. Minor alterations of immune, neuroendocrine, and autonomic function may be associated with this syndrome. There is also considerable overlap between this condition and FIBROMYALGIA. (From Semin Neurol 1998;18(2):237-42; Ann Intern Med 1994 Dec 15;121(12): 953-9)
Definition (PSY) Syndrome thought to be caused by a viral organism resulting in chronic fatigue, fever, pain, sore throat, and, in some cases, depression.
Definition (CSP) distinctive syndrome characterized by chronic fatigue, mild fever, lymphadenopathy, headache, myalgia, arthralgia, depression, and memory loss; candidate etiologic agents include Epstein-Barr and other herpesviruses.
Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047)
MSH D015673
ICD9 780.71
ICD10 G93.3 , R53.82
SnomedCT 52702003, 247372003, 267684004, 154989001, 193054000, 192735003, 267683005, 271798008, 154991009, 155062000, 51771007
English Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndromes, Encephalomyelitis, Myalgic, Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic, Fatigue Syndrome, Postviral, Fatigue Syndromes, Chronic, Fatigue Syndromes, Postviral, Infectious Mononucleosis-Like Syndrome, Chronic, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Postviral Fatigue Syndrome, Postviral Fatigue Syndromes, Royal Free Disease, Syndromes, Postviral Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, PVFS - Postviral fatigue syndr, PVFS - Postviral fatigue syndrome, POST-VIRAL FATIGUE SYNDROME, CHRONIC FATIGUE DIS, ROYAL FREE DIS, CFIDS, MYALGIC ENCEPH, INFECT MONONUCLEOSIS LIKE SYNDROME CHRONIC, ENCEPH MYALGIC, Myalgic encephalomyelitis synd, chronic fatigue syndrome (diagnosis), chronic fatigue syndrome, CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), Royal Free disease, Post-viral fatigue syndrome, Post-viral fatigue syndrome NOS, ME, Chronic Fatigue Disorder, Chronic Fatigue Disorders, Disorders, Chronic Fatigue, Fatigue Disorder, Chronic, Fatigue Disorders, Chronic, Chronic Fatigue Fibromyalgia Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia Syndromes, Fatigue-Fibromyalgia Syndrome, Chronic, Fatigue-Fibromyalgia Syndromes, Chronic, Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia, Syndromes, Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue syndrome NOS, Chronic fatigue, unspecified, Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic [Disease/Finding], chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome, encephalomyelitis myalgic, Post viral fatigue syndrome, myalgic encephalomyelitis, yuppie flu, postviral fatigue syndrome, postviral fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), post-viral fatigue syndrome, Infectious Mononucleosis Like Syndrome, Chronic, CFS, postviral fatigue syndrome (diagnosis), Chronic fatigue syndrome (finding), Myalgic encephalitis, Akureyri disease, Benign myalgic encephalomyelitis, Epidemic neuromyasthenia, Iceland disease, CFS - Chronic fatigue syndrome, Chronic fatigue syndrome, ME - Myalgic encephalomyelitis, Myalgic encephalomyelitis, Postviral fatigue syndrome, Myalgic encephalomyelitis syndrome, Chronic fatigue syndrome (disorder), Postviral fatigue syndrome (disorder), Akureyri, benign; myalgic encephalomyelitis, Iceland; disease, encephalomyelitis; benign myalgic, encephalomyelitis; myalgic, fatigue syndrome; postviral, fatigue; syndrome, chronic, fatigue; syndrome, postviral, myalgic; encephalomyelitis, postviral; syndrome, fatigue, syndrome; fatigue, chronic, syndrome; fatigue, postviral, syndrome; postviral, fatigue, Postviral fatigue syndrome, NOS, post viral fatigue syndrome
Portuguese SINDROME DE FADIGA POS-VIRAL, Encefalomielite miálgica, Doença de Royal Free, Síndrome de fadiga pós-vírica, Síndrome de fadiga pós-vírica NE, Síndrome de fadiga crónica, Síndrome de fatiga pós-viral, Encefalomielite Miálgica, Síndrome de Fadiga Crônica, Síndrome de Fadiga Pós-Viral, Síndrome Semelhante à Mononucleose Infecciosa Crônica
Italian Sindrome da affaticamento post-virale, Sindrome da stanchezza cronica, Sindrome da affaticamento post-virale NAS, Malattia Royal Free, Sindrome fibromialgica da affaticamento cronico, Sindome del Royal Free Hospital, Encefalomielite mialgica, Sindrome da fatica postvirale, Sindrome da affaticamento cronico e disfunzione immunitaria, Disordine da affaticamento cronico, Sindrome da infezione cronica mononucleosi-simile, Sindrome da affaticamento cronico
Dutch myalgische encefalomyelitis, postviraal vermoeidheidssyndroom NAO, Royal Free ziekte, postviraal vermoeidheidssyndroom, IJsland; aandoening, benigne; myalgische encefalomyelitis, encefalomyelitis; benigne myalgisch, encefalomyelitis; myalgisch, myalgisch; encefalomyelitis, postviraal; syndroom, moeheid, syndroom; postviraal, moeheid, syndroom; vermoeidheid, chronisch, syndroom; vermoeidheid, postviraal, vermoeidheid; syndroom, chronisch, vermoeidheid; syndroom, postviraal, vermoeidheidssyndroom; na virusinfectie, Vermoeidheidssyndroom na virusinfectie, chronisch vermoeidheidssyndroom, postvirale vermoeidheidssyndroom, Chronische-vermoeidheidsyndroom, Encefalomyelitis, myalgische, ME, Mononucleosisachtig syndroom, infectieus, Myalgische encefalomyelitis, Postviraal vermoeidheidsyndroom, Syndroom, postviraal vermoeidheid-, Vermoeidheidsyndroom, postviraal
French Encéphalomyélite myalgique bénigne, Syndrome de fatigue post-virale, EM, Syndrome de fatigue post-virale SAI, SYNDROME FATIGUE POST-VIRAL, Syndrome de fatigue chronique, Grippe des yuppies, Syndrome de fatigue chronique post-virale, Encéphalomyélite myalgique
German myalgische Enzephalomyelitis, postvirales asthenisches Syndrom NNB, ME, Royal Free-Krankheit, Postvirales Ermuedungssyndrom, chronisches Ermuedungssyndrom, postvirales asthenisches Syndrom, Enzephalomyelitis, myalgische, Royal-Free-Krankheit, Chronisches Ermüdungssyndrom, Chronisches Ermüdungssyndrom und Immundefektsyndrom, Ermüdungssyndrom, chronisches, Ermüdungssyndrom, postvirales, Infektiöse-Mononukleose-ähnliches Syndrom, Postvirales Ermüdungssyndrom
Spanish EM (Encefalomielitis miálgica), Síndrome de fatiga postvírico NEOM, Encefalomielitis miálgica, Enfermedad de Royal Free, Síndrome de fatiga postvírico, síndrome de fatiga crónica, síndrome de fatiga crónica (trastorno), enfermedad de Islandia, enfermedad de Islandia (trastorno), encefalomielitis miálgica benigna, enfermedad de Akureyri, neuromiastenia epidémica, síndrome de agotamiento crónico, síndrome de fatiga postviral (trastorno), síndrome de fatiga postviral, síndrome de fatiga posviral, Síndrome de fatiga crónica, Síndrome de fatiga postviral, Encefalomielitis Miálgica, Síndrome de Fatiga Crónica, Síndrome de Fatiga Postviral, Síndrome Semejante a la Mononucleosis Infecciosa Crónica
Japanese ウイルス感染後疲労症候群NOS, ローヤルフリー病, マンセイヒロウショウコウグン, キンツウセイノウセキズイエン, ローヤルフリービョウ, ウイルスカンセンゴヒロウショウコウグン, ウイルスカンセンゴヒロウショウコウグンNOS, Royal Free病, 慢性疲労症候群, ウイルス感染後疲労症候群, 慢性伝染性単核球症様症候群, 慢性疲労免疫不全症候群, 筋痛性脳脊髄炎, 伝染性単核球症様症候群-慢性, 疲労症候群-ウイルス感染後, 疲労症候群-慢性, 脳脊髄炎-筋痛性
Swedish Trötthetssyndrom, kroniskt
Czech syndrom chronické únavy, Únavový syndrom po virovém onemocnění NOS, Únavový syndrom po virovém onemocnění, Chronický únavový syndrom, Postvirální únavový syndrom, Myalgická encefalomyelitida, postvirový únavový syndrom, chronický únavový syndrom, myalgická encefalomyelitida, ME/CFS, myalgická encefalitida, CFS
Finnish Krooninen väsymysoireyhtymä
Korean 바이러스성 후의 피로 증후군
Polish Zespół zmęczenia powirusowy, Zespół mononukleozopodobny przewlekły, Zespół zmęczenia przewlekłego, Zespół wirusa Epsteina-Barr przewlekły, Zespół przewlekłego zmęczenia
Hungarian virusfertőzés utáni fáradtság syndroma k.m.n., virusfertőzés utáni fáradtság syndroma, Myalgiás encephalomyelitis, Royal Free betegség, Krónikus fáradtság syndroma, ME
Norwegian Utmattelsessyndrom, kronisk, Kronisk utmattelsessyndrom, Kronisk tretthetssyndrom, Kronisk trøtthetssyndrom, Trøtthetssyndrom, kronisk, Myalgisk encefalopati, Postviralt utmattelsessyndrom, Tretthetssyndrom, kronisk, ME