Adolescent And Young Adult ME/CFS After Confirmed Or Probable COVID-19

By Lindsay S. Petracek et al in Frontiers in Medicine.

Introduction: Fatigue is a common acute symptom following SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19). The presence of persistent fatigue and impaired daily physical and cognitive function has led to speculation that like SARS-CoV-1 infection, COVID-19 will be followed by myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

Methods and Results: We describe three adolescent and young adult patients who had confirmed or probable COVID-19 infections early on during the pandemic and were referred for evaluation to the Chronic Fatigue Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. All patients reported orthostatic intolerance symptoms within the first 2 weeks of illness, and 10-min passive standing tests were consistent with postural tachycardia syndrome. After 6 months of illness, all three patients met criteria for ME/CFS. Clinical features of interest included strong histories of allergies in all three patients, two of whom had elevations in plasma histamine. Each demonstrated limitations in symptom-free range of motion of the limbs and spine and two presented with pathological Hoffman reflexes. These comorbid features have been reported in adolescents and young adults with ME/CFS.

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