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IA-PACS-CFS: a double-blinded, randomized, sham-controlled, exploratory trial of immunoadsorption in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) including patients with post-acute COVID-19 CFS (PACS-CFS)

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Item Type:Article
Title:IA-PACS-CFS: a double-blinded, randomized, sham-controlled, exploratory trial of immunoadsorption in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) including patients with post-acute COVID-19 CFS (PACS-CFS)
Creators Name:Preßler, H. and Machule, M.L. and Ufer, F. and Bünger, I. and Li, L.Y. and Buchholz, E. and Werner, C. and Beraha, E. and Wagner, F. and Metz, M. and Burock, S. and Bruckert, L. and Franke, C. and Wilck, N. and Krüger, A. and Reshetnik, A. and Eckardt, K.U. and Endres, M. and Prüss, H.
Abstract:BACKGROUND: Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a severely debilitating condition which markedly restricts activity and function of affected people. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic ME/CFS related to post-acute COVID-19 syndrome (PACS) can be diagnosed in a subset of patients presenting with persistent fatigue 6 months after a mostly mild SARS-CoV-2 infection by fulfillment of the Canadian Consensus Criteria (CCC 2003). Induction of autoimmunity after viral infection is a mechanism under intensive investigation. In patients with ME/CFS, autoantibodies against thyreoperoxidase (TPO), beta-adrenergic receptors (ß2AR), and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (MAR) are frequently found, and there is evidence for effectiveness of immunomodulation with B cell depleting therapy, cyclophosphamide, or intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG). Preliminary studies on the treatment of ME/CFS patients with immunoadsorption (IA), an apheresis that removes antibodies from plasma, suggest clinical improvement. However, evidence from placebo-controlled trials is currently missing. METHODS: In this double-blinded, randomized, sham-controlled, exploratory trial the therapeutic effect of five cycles of IA every other day in patients with ME/CFS, including patients with post-acute COVID-19 chronic fatigue syndrome (PACS-CFS), will be evaluated using the validated Chalder Fatigue Scale, a patient-reported outcome measurement. A total of 66 patients will be randomized at a 2:1 ratio: 44 patients will receive IA (active treatment group) and 22 patients will receive a sham apheresis (control group). Moreover, safety, tolerability, and the effect of IA on patient-reported outcome parameters, biomarker-related objectives, cognitive outcome measurements, and physical parameters will be assessed. Patients will be hospitalized at the clinical site from day 1 to day 10 to receive five IA treatments and medical visits. Four follow-up visits (including two visits at site and two visits via telephone call) at month 1 (day 30), 2 (day 60), 4 (day 120), and 6 (day 180; EOS, end of study visit) will take place. DISCUSSION: Although ME/CFS including PACS-CFS causes an immense individual, social, and economic burden, we lack efficient therapeutic options. The present study aims to investigate the efficacy of immunoadsorption and to contribute to the etiological understanding and establishment of diagnostic tools for ME/CFS.
Keywords:Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome, Long-COVID, Immunoadsorption, Autoimmunity, PROMIS, Biomarker
Publisher:BioMed Central
Page Range:172
Date:7 March 2024
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-024-07982-5
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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