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Assessment of nonarticular tenderness & prevalence of Fibromyalgia (FM) in children

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FS) is most common in midlife, but may be

seen at any age. Its prevalence and assessment of tenderness

in healthy children is not known. We assessed 338 healthy

schoolchildren for tenderness thresholds and prevalence of FS.

In all children a point count of 18 tender points (TP) was

conducted by thumb palpation and tenderness of some of the TP

sites as well as control point sites was further assessed

using a Chatillon dolorimeter. All children and their parents

were questioned about the presence of widespread pain or

aching. Children were considered to have FS if they met the

American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for diagnosis

of FS. Of the 338 children, 21 (6.2%) had FS. Thresholds of

tenderness of 9 TP were 5.0 (1.2) (kg) [mean (standard

deviation)] for boys vs 3.6 (0.8) (kg) for girls (p < 0.001).

Thresholds of tenderness of the control point sites were 7.1

(1.4) (kg) for boys vs 5.5 (1.1) (kg) for girls (p < 0.001).

Thresholds of tenderness of TP and control points in the

children with FS were 2.5 (0.4) (kg) and 4.2 (0.5) (kg) vs 4.5

(1.2) (kg) and 6.6 (1.4) (kg) respectively in the children

without FS (p < 0.001). We suggest that FS is common in the

pediatric age group. Boys have lower tenderness than girls;

children with FS have lower thresholds for tenderness both at

control and TP compared to the subjects without FS.

Buskila D, Press J, Gedalia A, Klein M, Neumann L, Boehm R, Sukenik