Capillary permeability in fibromyalgia (FM)

OBJECTIVE. To examine capillary permeability in fibromyalgia (FMS)

we studied the nailfold capillaries of 13 unselected patients

with FMS and 9 healthy controls using dynamic fluorescence


METHODS. The transcapillary permeability of a

20% solution of sodium fluorescein injected into an

antecubital vein was assessed by videodensitometric analysis.

The pericapillary and interstitial fluorescent light

intensities (FLI) were calculated at different sites on a

transverse axis crossing the selected capillary.


Fluorescence videomicroscopy revealed no abnormalities in the

pattern of dye distribution around the nailfold capillaries in

the patient group. Videodensitometric analysis showed a trend

to an increased early transcapillary diffusion in patients

with FMS, but the difference was only significant at 3 s from

the first appearance of the dye (p < 0.05). From 10 s to 1 min

after the dye’s appearance, the mean FLI in the patients

equalled that of the controls. The patients with FMS showed an

earlier but lower FLI peak. Moreover, the FLI were

significantly lower in the patients than in the controls from

5 to 30 min after the dye appearance in all of the sites of

the densitometric analysis (p < 0.05). Thirty min after the

first appearance of the dye, the FLI was reduced by more than

50% in the patient group compared to the controls.


Our results indicate that transcapillary permeability and

the interstitial persistence of the tracer in FMS are

significantly reduced compared to controls. This difference

may be caused by the abnormal microvascular dynamics induced

by low capillary flow and/or capillary bed hypotension.

Grassi W, Core P, Carlino G, Salaffi F, Cervini C

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