Small nerve fiber involvement in patients referred for fibromyalgia



Introduction: Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic syndrome characterized by widespread pain often accompanied by other symptoms suggestive of neuropathic pain. We evaluated patients for small fiber neuropathy (SFN) who were referred for fibromyalgia (FM). Methods: We studied 20 consecutive subjects with primary FM. Patients underwent neurological examination, nerve conduction studies, and skin biopsies from distal leg and thigh. Results: Electrodiagnostic studies were normal in all patients. SFN was diagnosed in 6 patients by reduced epidermal nerve fiber density. These patients also showed abnormalities of both adrenergic and cholinergic fibers. Conclusions: A subset of FM subjects have SFN, which may contribute to their sensory and autonomic symptoms. Skin biopsy should be considered in the diagnostic work-up of FM. Muscle Nerve 49: 757–759, 2014