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Comment & Response
July 7, 2015

Redefining Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Author Affiliations
  • 1Research Clinic for Functional Disorders, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark

Copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2015;314(1):85. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.5731

To the Editor The Institute of Medicine (IOM) proposed a new name (systemic exertion intolerance disease) and diagnostic criteria for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).1 The IOM panel aimed to “develop evidence-based clinical diagnostic criteria for ME/CFS for use by clinicians, using a consensus-building methodology.”

We agree that more valid diagnostic criteria for ME/CFS are needed and welcome the panel’s effort to improve patient care through better diagnostic tools. However, we do not believe that a new consensus-driven proposal added to the many existing ones will help reach these important aims. The poor acceptance of ME/CFS in the scientific community is due to a lack of convincing evidence that ME/CFS is a distinct syndrome that can be delimited from other similar syndromes.

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