Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Current Status and Future Potentials of Emerging Biomarkers

Fatigue. 2014 Jun 1;2(2):93-109. doi: 10.1080/21641846.2014.906066.


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) remains an incompletely characterized illness, in part due to controversy regarding its definition, biological basis and diagnosis. Biomarkers are objective measures that may lead to improvements in our understanding of CFS by providing a more coherent and consistent approach to study, diagnosis and treatment of the illness. Such metrics may allow us to distinguish between CFS subtypes - each defined by characteristic biomarkers - currently conflated under the single, heterogeneous condition of CFS. These delineations, in turn, may guide more granular, focused, and targeted treatment strategies based on more precise characterizations of the illness. Here, we review potential CFS biomarkers related to neurological and immunological components of the illness, and discuss how these biomarkers may be used to move the field of CFS forward, emphasizing clinical utility and potential routes of future research.