The presence of crimson crescents in the mouth

  • Cunha, Burke A.; "Crimson Crescents -- A Possible Association With the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome"; Annals of Internal Medicine 116:4347, February 15, 1992.

  • Burke A. Cunha, M.D., Chief of the Infectious Disease Division of Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, New York, has discovered arch-shaped, bright red, membrane tissue in the back of CFS patients' mouths. Located on both inner sides of the mouth next to the back molars, these "crimson crescents," as Dr. Cunha calls them, intensify in color as the patient's condition worsens, and fade as the patient improves.
    Dr. Cunha states that the crescents appear in 80 percent of CFS patients but show up in less than 5 percent of non-CFS patients with sore throats, and not at all in patients with mononucleosis or strep throat. He states, "If your patient has crimson crescents, you now can say his condition is probably chronic fatigue syndrome."

  • Findings and Testimony of Burke A. Cunha, MD., chief, infectious disease division, Winthrop-University Hospital, Mineola, N.Y., USA.
    "But the most consistent lab evidence that we look for are elevations of coxsackie B-titers and elevations of HHV-6 titers in combination with the decrease in the percentage of natural killer T cells," Cunha explained. "If the patient has two or three of these abnormalities in our study center, then he or she fits the laboratory criteria for chronic fatigue. Nearly all patients with crimson crescents have two out of three of these laboratory abnormalities," he said.

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