Blood dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) levels in polymyalgia rheumatica/giant cell arteritis & primary fibromyalgia (FM)

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Blood levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) were

measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA) in patients with: a)

polymyalgia rheumatica/giant cell arteritis (PMR:TA; N = 25),

with and without cortisone derivative treatment (N = 10 and N

= 15, respectively); and b) primary fibromyalgia (PF; N = 15).

The mean DHEAS levels were found to be significantly

reduced in PMR:TA, compared to those in PF [FM] (Geom. mean

820 vs. 2300 nmol/l, respectively; p < 0.001), and the

reduction was more marked in patients on cortisone derivative

treatment. The DHEAS levels found in PF were found to be

normal and consistent with those previously reported in

non-immune mediated rheumatological diseases such as

osteoarthritis, and in healthy subjects, using the same method

of analysis. The low levels found in patients with PM:TA are

in accordance with those previously reported in

immune-mediated diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus

(SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis, suggesting that diminution of

DHEAS is a constant endocrinologic feature in these categories

of patients. The pathophysiological significance of these low

DHEAS levels needs to be investigated.

Nilsson E, de la Torre B, Hedman M, Goobar J, Thorner A

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