Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic syndrome characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, and physical and emotional symptoms. Although its pathophysiology is largely unknown, immune-inflammatory pathways may be involved. We examined serum interleukin (IL)-6, high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), CXCL-8, and IL-10 in 67 female FM patients and 35 healthy women while adjusting for age, body mass index (BMI), and comorbid disorders. We scored the Fibromyalgia Severity Score, Widespread Pain Index (WPI), Symptom Severity Scale (SSS), Hospital Anxiety (HADS-A), and Depression Scale and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10). Clinical rating scales were significantly higher in FM patients than in controls. After adjusting for covariates, IL-6, IL-10, and CXCL-8 were lower in FM than in HC, whereas hs-CRP did not show any difference. Binary regression analyses showed that the diagnosis FM was associated with lowered IL-10, quality of sleep, aerobic activities, and increased HADS-A and comorbidities. Neural networks showed that WPI was best predicted by quality of sleep, PSS-10, HADS-A, and the cytokines, while SSS was best predicted by PSS-10, HADS-A, and IL-10. Lowered levels of cytokines are associated with FM independently from confounders. Lowered IL-6 and IL-10 signaling may play a role in the pathophysiology of FM.
- Widespread pain