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This page was last modified on 18 May 2016, at 10:11.



Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/chronic fatigue syndrome

A significantly debilitating medical disorder or group of disorders generally defined by persistent fatigue accompanied by other specific symptoms for a minimum of six months in adults (and 3 months in children/adolescents), not due to ongoing exertion, not substantially relieved by rest, and not caused by other medical conditions. Symptoms affect several body systems and may include post-exertion malaise lasting more than 24 hours, unrefreshing sleep, significant impairment of short-term memory or concentration, muscle pain, pain in the joints without swelling or redness, headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity, tender lymph nodes in the neck or armpit, a sore throat that is frequent or recurring. Several pathophysiologic mechanisms have been postulated such as (acute) viral illness, psychiatric disorders, abnormalities in brain structure and function, neuroendocrine responses, sleep architecture and immune function. Environmental as well as genetic factors have been suspected to play a role. Despite all these studies there is not a definite etiology of this disease that is generally accepted.


Individual at risk

Donor / recipient


Guidance at RECRUITMENT for adult volunteer donor and maternal donor (cord blood donation)


Guidance at CT/WORK-UP



Justification for guidance

Due to the fact that the disease does not have a well defined etiology, both donor and recipient may be at risk during or after stem cell donation. Several national blood banks have similar guidance.



Afari N, Buchwald D. Chronic fatigue syndrome: a review. Am J Psychiatry 2003; 160(2): 221-36.

CFS Case Definition. Centre for Disease Control May 14th 2012,Β, retrieved February 2nd 2013.


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