New Criteria for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis by Independent Consensus Panel of International Experts

Led by Bruce Carruthers, who also led the development of the first Canadian consensus Slide12-300x225definition for ME/CFS, a panel of 26 physicians, researchers and teaching faculty from 13 countries, propose new criteria for myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and recommend use of this term and criteria as a replacement for CFS: “…it is more appropriate and correct to use the term “ME” because it indicates an underlying pathophysiology.” The criteria propose one compulsory feature — post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE) — plus seven symptoms from three subdivided symptom clusters: neurological, immunological and energy production/transport impairments. The criteria are intended for clinical and research use and the paper states that the panel is developing Physicians’ Guidelines and an International Consensus Symptom Scale for use in these settings. The criteria are summarized here. There is sure to be more discussion about the change in both the name and criteria for both have potentially far-reaching consequences for research, policy and education. (Journal of Internal Medicine, July 20, 2011; accepted article approved for publication; published online ahead of print on Aug. 22, 2011 and published in print Oct. 2011. The final full-text version is available open access.)

Tags: , , July 20, 2011