The “chronic, active epstein-barr virus infection” syndrome and primary fibromyalgia

Authors

  • Dedra Buchwald MD,

    1. Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital
    2. Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospitaland Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; the Department of Medicine, Multipurpose Arthritis Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts; and the Department of Pediatrics, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Massachusetts, Worcester.
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  • Don L. Goldenberg MD,

    1. Multipurpose Arthritis Center, Boston University School of Medicine Established Investigator of the American Heart Association
    2. Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospitaland Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; the Department of Medicine, Multipurpose Arthritis Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts; and the Department of Pediatrics, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Massachusetts, Worcester.
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  • John L. Sullivan MD,

    1. Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Massachusetts
    2. Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospitaland Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; the Department of Medicine, Multipurpose Arthritis Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts; and the Department of Pediatrics, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Massachusetts, Worcester.
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  • Anthony L. Komaroff

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital
    2. Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospitaland Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; the Department of Medicine, Multipurpose Arthritis Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts; and the Department of Pediatrics, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Massachusetts, Worcester.
    • Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115
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Abstract

Fifty patients with primary fibromyalgia who had been followed in an academic rheumatology practice frequently reported symptoms thought to be typical of “chronic Epstein-Barr virus infection,” but not of fibromyalgia: recurrent sore throat (54%), recurrent rash (47%), chronic cough (40%), recurrent adenopathy (33%), and recurrent low-grade fevers (28%). In 55% of the patients, illness had begun suddenly, with what seemed to be a viral syndrome. Antibody titers to Epstein-Barr virus in the patients with fibromyalgia, however, were not significantly different from those in age- and sex-matched “healthy” and “unhealthy” control subjects.

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