Article

The evaluation of the fibromyalgia patients.

Rheumatology Unit, L. Sacco University Hospital, Milan, Italy.
Reumatismo 09/2011; 60 Suppl 1:36-49. DOI: 10.4081/reumatismo.2008.1s.36
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fibromyalgia (FM) is a rheumatic disease characterized by musculoskeletal pain, chronic diffuse tension and/or stiffness in joints and muscles, easy fatigue, sleep and emotional disturbances, and pressure pain sensitivity in at least 11 of 18 tender points. At present, there are no instrumental tests or specific diagnostic markers for FM; in fact, many of the existing indicators are significant for research purposes only. Many differential diagnoses may be excluded by an extensive clinical examination and patient history. Considering overlap of FM with other medical conditions, the treating physicians should be vigilant: chest-X-rays and abdominal ultrasonography are the first steps of general evaluation for all the patients with suspected FM. Functional neuroimaging methods have revealed a large number of supraspinal effects in FM, a disorder mediated by mechanisms that are essentially unknown. Many treatments are used in FM patients, but evaluating their therapeutic effects in FM is difficult because the syndrome is so multifaceted. To address the identification of core outcome domains, the Initiative on IMMPACT and OMERACT workshop convened a meeting to develop consensus recommendations for chronic pain clinical trials.

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