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Relationship of substance P, 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid & tryptophan in serum of fibromyalgia (FM) patients

  [ 45 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • January 15, 1999

The serotonergic system has repeatedly been discussed to be
involved in the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia (FM), which is
a syndrome of widespread pain and sleep disturbance. Elevated
levels of substance P (SP), a mediator of nociception, have
been described in FM. In this study the possible relationship
between SP and serotonin (5-HT) together with its precursor
tryptophan (TRP) and its metabolite 5- hydroxyindoleacetic
acid (5-HIAA) was evaluated in 51 serum samples of
fibromyalgia patients. These parameters were compared with
clinical data such as pain intensity or sleep quality. A
strong negative correlation between SP and 5-HIAA (P = .000)
as well as between SP and TRP (P = .009) could be
demonstrated. High serum concentrations of 5- HIAA and TRP
showed a significant relation to low pain scores (5-HIAA: P =
.030; TRP: P = .014). Moreover, 5-HIAA was strongly related to
good quality of sleep (P = .000), while SP was related to
sleep disturbance (P = .005). These data are valid to support
the hypothesis of a systemic involvement of 5-HT and SP in

Schwarz MJ, Spath M, Muller-Bardorff H, Pongratz DE, Bondy B,
Ackenheil M

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