OBJECTIVE. To ascertain the prevalence of fibromyalgia syndrome
(FMS) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and to evaluate
its clinical impact and relationship to SLE disease activity.
METHODS. A cross-sectional analysis of 102 patients from a
public hospital SLE clinic. Information was obtained on
symptoms of FMS, disability, tender points, pain thresholds,
and SLE disease activity.
RESULTS. Twenty-two SLE patients
(22%) met the American College of Rheumatology criteria for
FMS, and another 24 (23%) had clinical FMS but did not meet
the classification criteria. The patients who met the criteria
for FMS had a significantly increased frequency and severity
of symptoms commonly associated with FMS, and were much more
likely to be unable to perform daily activities. The FMS
patients also were less likely to be employed, and more likely
to be divorced and to be receiving welfare or medical
disability benefits. However, patients with and those without
FMS did not differ in measures of SLE activity.
CONCLUSION. FMS is very common in SLE patients, and
accounts for many of the symptoms and much of the disability
in these patients.
Middleton GD, McFarlin JE, Lipsky PE