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Increased capsaicin-induced secondary hyperalgesia as a marker of abnormal sensory activity in patients with fibromyalgia (FM)

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By Morris V, Cruwys S, Kidd B • www.ProHealth.com • July 10, 1998


In this study, capsaicin-induced secondary hyperalgesia was
assessed as a marker of abnormal nociceptive processing in
patients with fibromyalgia (FM). The area of mechanical
secondary hyperalgesia induced by a standard solution of
capsaicin placed on the volar forearm was measured in ten
patients with FM and the results compared to those obtained in
ten patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ten normal
subjects. The area of secondary hyperalgesia was found to be
substantially increased in both the FM and RA groups compared
with controls. In the FM group the area of hyperalgesia
correlated with the overall pain score and with the joint
tenderness score. The results suggest that in FM there is
enhanced sensitivity of nociceptive neurones at a spinal
level, thereby supporting the concept of a generalised
disturbance of pain modulation in this disorder.




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