Treatment of 741 italian patients with chronic fatigue syndrome

Umberto Tirelli, A. Lleshi, M. Berretta, M. Spina, R. Talamini, A. Giacalone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a distinctive syndrome characterized by specific symptoms cluster. CFS mostly affects women and often results in severe functional limitation. Its prevalence varies from 0.4 to 2.5% in the general population. In our prior studies on the clinical features of 205 CFS patients we founded immunological and brain abnormalities. In this paper we illustrate our caseload on CFS treatment. PATIENTS AND METHODS: From January 2000 to December 2005, we evaluated all the patients admitted at the CFS Unit of the Aviano National Cancer Institute, for staging procedures and treatments. Patients not meeting the Fukuda diagnostic criteria were excluded. RESULTS: 250 male and 491 female (median age 35.5 and 39.3 years, respectively) were enrolled and treated for CFS. As expected, CFS resulted from previous infectious disease in all patients. Female patients showed to be more affected by symptoms than male patients. The treatment schedules followed by the patients included nutritional supplements alone, corticosteroids, antidepressant/sedative drugs, and antiviral/immunoglobulin drugs. Antiviral/ immunoglobulin drugs achieved the best response (15.3% positive responses vs. 8.3% negative responses; OR 0.44, CI 0.26-0.74, p = 0.002). The carrying out of 4 or more treatments showed a protective effect (OR 0.46, CI 0.28-0.77, p = 0.003). This finding was confirmed in the multivariate analysis, adjusted by type of drugs (OR 0.49, CI 0.28-0.84, p = 0.009) and number of treatments carried out (OR 0.51, CI 0.30-0.86, p = 0.01); these two variables were independent. CONCLUSIONS: These findings show that the antiviral/immunoglobulin approach has a longer positive disease free survival in comparison with other approaches. However, CSF still remains a difficult disease to be effectively treated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2847-2852
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Volume17
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • CFS
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • CSF
  • Fatigue
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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