Symptoms of fibromyalgia may imitate high disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

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Symptoms of fibromyalgia may imitate high disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

European League Against Rheumatism Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) study showed that fibromyalgia symptoms may mimic high disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

In the study, researchers assessed 122 RA patients and diagnosis was confirmed with the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) / American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2010 criteria. According ACR 1990 criteria, researchers identify patients with concurrent fibromyalgia and all subjects were examined for swollen joint counts (SJC), tender joint counts (TJC), and tender point counts during a rheumatologist evaluation. The researchers also evaluated the Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP).

The researchers used a 100-mm VAS and the Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) to assess general health, and each subject’s functional status was assessed with the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ). The results confirmed that 24 RA patients met the ACR 1990 criteria for fibromyalgia, with 11 or more tender points. In addition, study also revealed that patients with fibromyalgia had higher scores of VAS, TJCs, CDAI DAS28, and HAQ.

The authors found that the majority of patients with fibromyalgia had high disease activity (DAS28 of 5.1 and high CDAI). However, SJC, ESR and CRP scores were similar between patients with fibromyalgia and patients with RA who did not have concurrent fibromyalgia.

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