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Fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome & disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus

  [ 26 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • June 3, 1994

To study the effect of fibromyalgia syndrome (FS) on the expression
of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and on the measurement
of disease activity, we performed a cross-sectional study of
subjects with SLE. Eighty-seven subjects were studied and 22
(25.3%), all female, had FS (Yunus' criteria). Disease
activity and organ system involvement were assessed using the
systemic lupus activity measure (SLAM) and using 10 cm visual
analogue scales (VAS) completed by both physician and patient.
No significant difference between FS and non-FS groups in the
objective measurement of disease activity was present, median
(range) SLAM scores being 5 (0-18) and 6 (0-24), respectively
(NS). Similarly, expression of SLE, as measured by the
prevalence of specific organ system involvement, was similar
in the two groups. In contrast the prevalence of
glucocorticoid use, antibodies to DSDNA and fulfilling four
ACR criteria was higher in the non-FS group. The rating of SLE
disease activity was affected by concomitant FS. Physician and
patient disease activity VAS correlated significantly with
SLAM scores in non-FS subjects (P < 0.001, Spearman analysis),
whereas in FS subjects, neither physician nor patient VAS
correlated with SLAM scores.
We conclude that FS is prevalent in individuals with SLE
and does not affect disease expression but may interfere with
the rating of disease activity.

Morand EF, Miller MH, Whittingham S, Littlejohn GO

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