Chronic fatigue syndrome: an update

Annu Rev Med. 1998:49:1-13. doi: 10.1146/


Among the many patients who seek medical care for the complaint of fatigue, a small number suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). CFS is a poorly understood condition characterized by debilitating fatigue and associated symptoms lasting at least six months. Studies indicate that the illness is not simply a manifestation of an underlying psychiatric disorder, but rather is an illness characterized by activation of the immune system, various abnormalities of several hypothalamic-pituitary axes, and reactivation of certain infectious agents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fatigue / physiopathology
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / immunology
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / virology
  • Herpesviridae Infections / physiopathology
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiopathology
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis