Helicobacter pylori seropositivity in fibromyalgia syndrome – Source: Clinical Rheumatology, Dec 1, 2010

[Note: Helicobacter pylori is the most common human bacterial infection. According to the Helicobacter Foundation, people carrying it always have some stomach inflammation and it can increase permeability of the stomach lining (it is responsible for most ulcers). Discovered in the early 1980s, H pylori's effects are still incompletely understood.]

Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection may cause extragastric [outside the stomach] manifestations.

Inflammation is an important mediator of increased sympathetic nervous system activity and may lead to pain in fibromyalgia patients.

In this study, we aimed to investigate the HP seropositivity in fibromyalgia patients compared with controls for possible role of HP infection in FM.

Sixty-seven patients with fibromyalgia were evaluated. Two of them were excluded from the study because of high level of acute phase reactants. Sixty-five female patients with fibromyalgia and 41 randomly selected age-matched female healthy controls were enrolled to study.

Serum HP IgA and IgG antibodies were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique. Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire was assessed in patients and controls.

Seropositivity of HP IgG antibody in the fibromyalgia patients was significantly higher than in the control group. No statistically significant differences were found regarding the clinical features between fibromyalgia patients with HP IgG antibody and patients without IgG antibody.

Our study suggests that former HP infection may have a role in the etiopathogenesis of fibromyalgia syndrome or may act as a triggering factor.

However, high seroprevalence of HP in general population and prevalent asymptomatic infection make it difficult to interpret these results for the definite role of HP in FM.

Highlighting the pathophysiologic mechanisms of FM will result in more effective treatment regimens.

Source: Clinical Rheumatology, Dec 1, 2010. PMID: 21120564, by Akkaya N, Akkaya S, Polat Y, Turk M, Turk T, Turhal E, Sahin F. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pamukkale University Medical School, Denizli, Turkey. [Email:

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