Small Nerve Fiber Involvement in FIbromyalgia Patients


Small nerve fiber involvement in patients referred for fibromyalgia.

By Maria Pia Giannoccaro MD, et al.


Introduction: Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic syndrome characterized by widespread pain often accompanied by other symptoms suggestive of neuropathic pain. We evaluated patients for small fiber neuropathy (SFN) who were referred for fibromyalgia (FM).

Methods: We studied 20 consecutive subjects with primary FM. Patients underwent neurological examination, nerve conduction studies, and skin biopsies from distal leg and thigh.

Results: Electrodiagnostic studies were normal in all patients. SFN was diagnosed in 6 patients by reduced epidermal nerve fiber density. These patients also showed abnormalities of both adrenergic and cholinergic fibers.

Conclusion: A subset of FM subjects have SFN, which may contribute to their sensory and autonomic symptoms. Skin biopsy should be considered in the diagnostic work-up of FM. Muscle Nerve, 2014.

Source: Muscle & Nerve, December 28, 2013. By Maria Pia Giannoccaro MD, Vincenzo Donadio PhD, Alex Incensi BSc, Patrizia Avoni PhD and Rocco Liguori MD. Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

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