Fibromyalgia (FM) patients often report a high frequency of
non-musculoskeletal symptoms, including those suggestive of
multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) syndrome. The objective of
this pilot study was to determine the prevalence of MCS in FM
patients from a university-based rheumatology practice.
Self-report questionnaires were administered to determine the
presence of MCS, utilizing the criteria from a recent study of
the immunologic profile of patients with this disorder.
Patients also responded "yes" or "no" to the presence of 48
Thirty-three of 60 patients with FM met the criteria for MCS.
Eleven of these patients also fulfilled more restrictive criteria,
requiring a "higher degree" of chemical sensitivity. The symptoms
and substances most frequently cited were similar to those
reported in other studies of MCS. FM patients with and without
MCS did not differ in other symptomatology. MCS may represent
an additional symptom complex within the spectrum of FM.