Advances in Diagnostics
Blood Test for Fibromyalgia
New blood test for fibromyalgia is more accurate than previously thought, according to the doctor that has this test developed. It would not be mistaken with other chronic pain diseases like systemic lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. More . . .
Blood Test for Fibromyalgia
A new blood test for fibromyalgia is more accurate than previously thought and will not confuse the chronic pain disorder with other diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, according to the physician who developed the test.
“We have not seen any overlap between the biomarkers in fibromyalgia and the immune system patterns of patients with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. That really takes the air out of the sails of any naysayers that are out there,” said Bruce Gillis, MD, founder and CEO of EpicGenetics, a bioresearch company based in Santa Monica, CA.
The EpicGenetics Company introduced the FM test in 2012, calling it the first definitive blood test for fibromyalgia, a poorly understood disorder that is characterized by deep tissue pain, fatigue, headaches, depression and lack of sleep. Test results are usually available in about a week. The FM test looks for protein molecules in the blood called chemokines and cytokines, which are produced by white blood cells. Fibromyalgia patients have fewer chemokines and cytokines in their blood, according to EpiGenetics, and as a result have weaker immune systems than normal patients.
There is some criticism about this test. The same immune system biomarkers can be found in people with other illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis, making the blood test unreliable. However, in new research involving over 300 patients with either fibromyalgia, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, Dr. Bruce Gillis (MD and CEO of Epigenetics) said only fibromyalgia patients were found to have below normal levels of chemokines and cytokines.
When the FM test was first introduced, EpicGenetics said it was 93% accurate in diagnosing fibromyalgia. Gillis says the sensitivity of the test is now estimated at 99%, which is about the same as the test used to diagnose HIV.
Researchers at Ohio State are in the initial stages of developing another type of blood test for fibromyalgia. Using a high powered infrared microscope, they’ve identified a pattern of molecules in the blood that appears to be unique to fibromyalgia patients.
Another team of researchers in upstate New York has found that fibromyalgia patients have excess sensory nerve fibers in the blood vessels of their hands, which may disrupt the flow of blood throughout the body.
American College of Rheumatology had redefined fibromyalgia diagnostics criteria in 2010. If you would like to get familiar with this subject click the link → new fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria (PDF file, 11 pages)
You can download here diagnostic questionnaire with 2010 criteria → fibromyalgia diagnostic questionnaire, (pdf file) that would help to establish your Widespread Pain Index and Symptoms Severity Score and also find out your probability of having fibromyalgia