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To determine collagen and muscle pathology in fibromyalgia (FM) patients, muscle biopsies were obtained from 27 female FM patients, and from eight age-matched female control subjects. Amino acids were determined by HPLC and electron microscopy was performed. The FM patients had lower hydroxyproline and lower total concentration of the major amino acids of collagen than the controls. No significant difference was seen in the concentration of the major amino acids of myosin or of total protein. Electron microscopy showed no significant differences between FM patients and controls although atrophied muscle fibrils occurred in FM patients only, but frequencies were not significantly different. It was concluded that the fibromyalgia patients studied had a significantly lower amount of intramuscular collagen. This may lower the threshold for muscle micro-injury and thereby result in non-specific signs of muscle pathology. (Source: Rheumatology (Oxford), 2003 Jul 16. Gronemann ST, Ribel-Madsen S, Bartels EM, Danneskiold-Samsoe B, Bliddal H.)

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