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  • Diagnostic criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome

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Diagnostic criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome

Published Updated


About this publication

  • Year: 2011
  • ISBN (digital): 978-82-8121-417-0

Key message

The purpose of the memorandum is to provide an overview of the different sets of diagnostic criteria used to make a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome.

We identified the diagnostic criteria by using the Knowledge Centre's systematic review from 2006, inputs from experts, the review of the reference lists for selected articles, and unsystematic literature searches in Google and PubMed. We translated into Norwegian and presented the identified diagnostic criteria.

We identified the following 12 diagnostic criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome: 

1)                    The CDC 1988 Criteria (Holmes)

2)                    Dowsett 1990 Criteria

3)                    The Australian 1990 Criteria (Lloyd)

4)                    The Oxford 1991 Criteria (Sharpe)

5)                    London 1994 Guidelines

6)                    CDC 1994 Criteria (Fukuda)

7)                    The Australian 2002 Guidelines

8)                   The Canadian Consesus Criteria 2003 (Carruthers)

9)                    The Emprical CDC 2005 Criteria (Reeves)

10)                 The Pediatric Criteria 2006 (Jason)

11)                  NICE 2007 Guidelines 

12)                 Revised Version of  the Canadian Consesus Criteria 2010 (Jason)

The diagnostic criteria identified prolonged fatigue (more than six months' duration) affecting level of activity or participation as the main symptom. Common concurrent symptoms are impaired memory and loss of concentration, sore throat, muscle and joint pains, headaches and sleep disturbances.

It would be useful to identify research that focuses on validation and applicability of the different sets of diagnostic criteria.