Biomarkers in Fibromyalgia

By Jacob N. Ablin, MD, Dan Buskila, MD, and Daniel J. Clauw, MD

Fibromyalgia is a common pain syndrome char­acterized by widespread pain, tenderness, and a number of other somatic symptoms and syndromes. Although there was original skepticism that any objective abnormalities would be identified in these individuals, at present there are many that have been reproducibly identified, and most point to dysregulation of central nervous system function as a key underlying pathogenic mechanism in this and related illnesses. This article reviews several objective abnormalities or measures that have been identified or used in fibromyalgia, and indicates which of these may be most promising to eventually use as biomarkers to follow the response to treat­ment or progress of disease over time.