Use of P-31 magnetic resonance spectroscopy to detect metabolic abnormalities in muscles of patients with fibromyalgia (FM)

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the metabolic and functional status

of muscles of fibromyalgia (FM) patients, using P-31 magnetic

resonance spectroscopy (MRS).

METHODS: Twelve patients with FM

and 11 healthy subjects were studied. Clinical status was

assessed by questionnaire. Biochemical status of muscle was

evaluated with P-31 MRS by determining concentrations of

inorganic phosphate (Pi), phosphocreatine (PCr), ATP, and

phosphodiesters during rest and exercise. Functional status

was evaluated from the PCr/Pi ratio, phosphorylation potential

(PP), and total oxidative capacity (Vmax).

RESULTS: Patients

with FM reported greater difficulty in performing activities

of daily living as well as increased pain, fatigue, and

weakness compared with controls. MRS measurements showed that

patients had significantly lower than normal PCr and ATP

levels (P < 0.004) and PCr/Pi ratios (P < 0.04) in the

quadriceps muscles during rest. Values for PP and Vmax also

were significantly reduced during rest and exercise.

CONCLUSION: P-31 MRS provides objective evidence for metabolic

abnormalities consistent with weakness and fatigue in patients

with FM. Noninvasive P-31 MRS may be useful in assessing

clinical status and evaluating the effectiveness of treatment

regimens in FM.

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