The Norwegian Knowledge Centre for Health Services was commissioned by the Norwegian Directorate of Health to review scientific publications written by Professor Kenny De Meirleir. A search in relevant databases revealed 107 publications published between January 2000 and January 2011, and we considered 13 of these publications to fulfill our predefined inclusion criteria.
• We included two studies about the effects of treatment, but they did not provide a basis for drawing any conclusions.
• We included eleven case-control studies of possible biomarkers, cause and risk factors. Some of the studies reported interesting results, but did not provide a basis for drawing firm conclusions about the causes for chronic fatigue syndrome.
The studies we included did not provide a basis to draw conclusion about the effect of interventions. The included observational studies are thematically related, showing increased prevalence of active infections in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, and do also point to possible irregularities in the patient's immune response.
It is important to emphasize that the results presented here has important limitations compared with the results presented in systematic reviews. As only publications by De Meirleir were considered for inclusion, we have not assessed whether the findings of De Meirleir and co-workers are consistent with findings reported by other research groups. There may be a need for a systematic and thorough review of publications on the causes and risk factors associated with chronic fatigue syndrome