Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Children and
By David S. Bell, MD
FAAP Clinical Instructor in Pediatrics,
Harvard Medical School; The Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge,
Abstract reprinted with permission from
Focus & Opinion: Pediatrics, vol. 1, issue 5, 1995, pages 412 - 420.
Permission is granted for a non-exclusive one time use of this material by
Mosby-Year Book, Inc., 161 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60601.
A copy of the entire article is available
from The CFIDS Association of America. For ordering information please call the
Association's Resource Line at 704-365-2343.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) also called
chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), is an illness characterized
by marked functional limitation and a characteristic pattern of somatic symptoms
that affects children as well as adults. The symptom complex, physical
examination, laboratory evaluation, clinical course, and differential diagnosis
are reviewed with particular emphasis on CFS in children.
Clinical management consists of a
comprehensive treatment plan including medical, educational, and psychosocial
support with the aim of reducing both symptom severity and activity limitation.
Although its etiology is unknown, the use of the term "chronic fatigue syndrome"
as a clinical diagnosis is appropriate for children with marked functional
limitation caused by unexplained fatigue who have the associated symptom complex
and physical examination findings characteristic of this condition.