ME and CFS Medical Abnormalities – Physical Symptoms


Following is a list of articles about abnormalities in natural killer cells in ME and CFS.

Links to the more than 1,000 peer-reviewed journal articles are listed on the ME and CFS Medical Abnormalities page of this website.


Ohanian D, Brown A, Sunnquist M, Furst J, Nicholson L, Klebek L, Jason LA. Identifying Key Symptoms Differentiating Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from Multiple Sclerosis. Neurology (ECronicon). 2016;4(2):41-45. PMID: 28066845

The current study compared self-report symptom data of patients with ME or CFS with those with MS. The best discriminating symptoms were from the immune domain (i.e., flu-like symptoms and tender lymph nodes), and the trees correctly categorized MS from ME or CFS 81.2% of the time, with those with ME or CFS having more severe symptoms.


Johnston SC, Staines DR, Marshall-Gradisnik SM. Epidemiological characteristics of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis in Australian patients. Clin Epidemiol. 2016 May 17;8:97-107. PMID: 27279748

A cross-sectional survey on the medical history of patients enrolled in an Australian CFS/ME research database between April 2013 and April 2015. Participants were classified according to Fukuda criteria and International Consensus Criteria. Within those meeting CFS/ME criteria, the most common events prior to illness included cold or flu, gastrointestinal illness, and periods of undue stress. Of the 60 symptoms surveyed, fatigue, cognitive, and short-term memory symptoms, headaches, muscle and joint pain, unrefreshed sleep, sensory disturbances, muscle weakness, and intolerance to extremes of temperature were the most commonly occurring symptoms (reported by more than two-thirds of patients).


Chen Y, Liu W, Zhang L, Yan M, Zeng Y. Hybrid facial image feature extraction and recognition for non-invasive chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosis. Comput Biol Med. 2015 Sep;64:30-9. PMID: 26117650

Individuals with CFS were found to have specific identifiable facial features, including vertical striped wrinkles on the forehead, puffiness of the lower eyelid, the skin colour of the cheeks, nose and lips, and the shape of the mouth corner.


Ravindran M, Adewuyi O, Zheng Y, Rayhan RU, Le U, Timbol C, Merck S, Esteitie R, Read C, Cooney M, Baraniuk J. Dyspnea in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): comparison of two prospective cross-sectional studies. Glob J Health Sci. 2012 Dec 12;5(2):94-110. PMID: 23445698

This study showed that a much higher percentage of CFS patients than healthy controls significant dyspnea (shortness of breath).


Maloney EM, Boneva RS, Lin JM, Reeves WC. Chronic fatigue syndrome is associated with metabolic syndrome: results from a case-control study in Georgia. Metabolism. 2010 Sep;59(9):1351-7. PMID: 20102774

CFS was associated with metabolic syndrome, which further exacerbated fatigue.


Meeus M, Nijs J, Huybrechts S, Truijen S. Evidence for generalized hyperalgesia in chronic fatigue syndrome: a case control study. Clin Rheumatol. 2010 Apr;29(4):393-8. PMID: 20077123

CFS patients exhibited more generalized hyperalgesia than controls.


Fisher MM, Rose M. Anaesthesia for patients with idiopathic environmental intolerance and chronic fatigue syndrome. Br J Anaesth. 2008 Oct;101(4):486-91. PMID: 18782886

Anaesthesia is likely to be associated with adverse effects in CFS patients but the effects are not likely to be severe.


Wyller VB, Godang K, Mørkrid L, Saul JP, Thaulow E, Walløe L. Abnormal thermoregulatory responses in adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome: relation to clinical symptoms. Pediatrics. 2007 Jul;120(1):e129-37. PMID: 17606539

Adolescent patients with chronic fatigue syndrome have abnormal catecholaminergic-dependent thermoregulatory responses, suggesting sympathetic dysfunction and possibly.


Nijs J, Aerts A, De Meirleir K. Generalized joint hypermobility is more common in chronic fatigue syndrome than in healthy control subjects. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2006 Jan;29(1):32-9. PMID: 16396727

CFS patients were more likely than controls to have joint hypermobility.


van de Putte EM, Uiterwaal CS, Bots ML, Kuis W, Kimpen JL, Engelbert RH. Is chronic fatigue syndrome a connective tissue disorder? A cross-sectional study in adolescents. Pediatrics. 2005 Apr;115(4):e415-22. PMID: 15805343

Patients with CFS had lower blood pressure, stiffer arteries and more extensible skin, but did not have joint hypermobiity.


Shee CD. Phantom lymphadenopathy. An association with chronic fatigue syndrome. Postgrad Med J. 2003 Jan;79(927):59-60. PMID: 12566557

Phantom lymphadenopathy may be a symptom in some people with CFS.


Jason LA, Torres-Harding SR, Carrico AW, Taylor RR. Symptom occurrence in persons with chronic fatigue syndrome. Biol Psychol. 2002 Feb;59(1):15-27. PMID: 11790441

Headaches, lymph node pain, sore throat, joint pain, muscle pain, muscle weakness at multiple sites differentiate CFS patients from controls. The disease includes many cardiopulmonary, neurological, and other symptoms not included in the CDC case definition.


Barron DF, Cohen BA, Geraghty MT, Violand R, Rowe PC. Joint hypermobility is more common in children with chronic fatigue syndrome than in healthy controls. J Pediatr. 2002 Sep;141(3):421-5. PMID: 12219066

Joint hypermobility is more common in patients with CFS than in otherwise healthy children with common skin disorders.


Buchwald D, Umali P, Umali J, Kith P, Pearlman T, Komaroff AL. Chronic fatigue and the chronic fatigue syndrome: prevalence in a Pacific Northwest health care system. Ann Intern Med. 1995 Jul 15;123(2):81-8. PMID: 7778839

People with CFS had more frequent cervical and axillary adenopathy, poorer functional status, and greater psychological distress than controls.


Sisto SA, Tapp W, Drastal S, Bergen M, DeMasi I, Cordero D, Natelson B. Vagal tone is reduced during paced breathing in patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome. Clin Auton Res. 1995 Jun;5(3):139-43. PMID: 7549414

Vagal power was significantly lower in a CFS group versus healthy controls.


Saisch SG, Deale A, Gardner WN, Wessely S. Hyperventilation and chronic fatigue syndrome. Q J Med. 1994 Jan;87(1):63-7. PMID: 8140219

The authors found a weak association between hyperventilation and chronic fatigue syndrome.


Cunha BA. Crimson crescents–a possible association with the chronic fatigue syndrome. Ann Intern Med. 1992 Feb 15;116(4):347. PMID: 1733396

A particular pattern of redness in the throat may be related to CFS.


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