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Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Etiology, Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Treatment
– Source: Pain Research and Treatment, Epub November 4, 2012
By Enrico Bellato, et al.
Fibromyalgia syndrome is mainly characterized by pain, fatigue, and sleep disruption. The etiology of fibromyalgia is still unclear: if central sensitization is considered to be the main mechanism involved, then many other factors, genetic, immunological, and hormonal, may play an important role.
The diagnosis is typically clinical (there are no laboratory abnormalities) and the physician must concentrate on pain and on its features. Additional symptoms (e.g., Raynaud’s phenomenon, irritable bowel disease, and heat and cold intolerance) can be associated with this condition. A careful differential diagnosis is mandatory: fibromyalgia is not a diagnosis of exclusion. Since 1990, diagnosis has been principally based on the two major diagnostic criteria defined by the ACR. Recently, new criteria have been proposed.
The main goals of the treatment are to alleviate pain, increase restorative sleep, and improve physical function. A multidisciplinary approach is optimal. While most nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids have limited benefit, an important role is played by antidepressants and neuromodulating antiepileptics: currently duloxetine (NNT for a 30% pain reduction 7.2), milnacipran (NNT 19), and pregabalin (NNT 8.6) are the only drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of fibromyalgia. In addition, nonpharmacological treatments should be associated with drug therapy.
Source: Pain Research and Treatment, November 4, 2012. By Enrico Bellato, Eleonora Marini, Filippo Castoldi, Nicola Barbasetti, Lorenzo Mattei, Davide Edoardo Bonasis, Davide Blonna. Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, CTO-Maria Adelaide Hospital, University of Turin Medical School, Via Zuretti 29, 10126 Turin, Italy.