The Concurrence of Lupus and Fibromyalgia

The concurrence of Lupus and Fibromyalgia: implications for diagnosis and management by Robert Bennett MD

It is increasingly evident that Fibromyalgia is a common accompaniment of lupus. In North America Fibromyalgia is amongst the 3 most frequent diagnoses made by rheumatologists (1,2). Many physicians feel uncomfortable with this diagnosis as there are no confirmatory investigations and current treatment is not very effective (3). Even when the diagnosis is correctly considered, physicians may search for some alternative (and more acceptable) explanation. If an abnormal test is found, it may be seized upon with an unrestrained zeal. Often this abnormal test is a weakly positive antinuclear antibody test (ANA) and the patient is told she/he may have lupus. Even when it is apparent that the diagnosis of SLE is incorrect, the patient is often reluctant to abandon this diagnosis. Two common clinical situations are seen in relation to these issues: (i) Fibromyalgia in a Lupus patient may be missed or denied, and (ii) Fibromyalgia may be misdiagnosed as Lupus.

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Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!