Rheumatology International

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 335–341 | Cite as

Thyroid autoimmunity may represent a predisposition for the development of fibromyalgia?

  • L. BazzichiEmail author
  • A. Rossi
  • C. Zirafa
  • F. Monzani
  • S. Tognini
  • A. Dardano
  • F. Santini
  • M. Tonacchera
  • M. De Servi
  • C. Giacomelli
  • F. De Feo
  • M. Doveri
  • G. Massimetti
  • S. Bombardieri
Original Article


In our previous study, we observed that the presence of autoimmune thyroid disease worsens fibromyalgia (FM) symptoms. The aims of this study are to evaluate whether there is a predisposition for the development of FM in patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) with or without subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) and in patients with SCH alone and what is the weight of antithyroid antibody positivity and SCH on FM comorbidity. Fifty-two patients, 39 affected by HT with or without SCH and 13 by SCH, were matched with 37 patients affected by FM and 25 healthy subjects. Blood samples were collected from all study subjects for the determination of serum TSH, free triiodothyronine, free thyroxine, antithyroperoxidase antibody (TPOAb), antithyroglobulin antibody (TgAb) and non-organ-specific autoantibodies. Clinical assessment of patients and controls included the “Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire” (FIQ), while pain severity was evaluated using a visual analogue scale (VAS). Patients and controls were also characterized by the presence of diffuse pain, fatigue, paresthesiae, muscle spasms, non-restful sleep, tension headache and presence of mood disorders. FM comorbidity resulted in twelve HT subjects (31%) and none in SCH patient. In particular, FM comorbidity in HT patients without SCH was 33.3% and in HT patients with SCH was 28.5%. Based on our data, we speculate that maybe there is more than a hypothesis regarding the cause–effect relation between thyroid autoimmunity and the presence of FM, thus suggesting a hypothetical role of thyroid autoimmunity in FM pathogenesis.


Fibromyalgia Antithyroperoxidase antibody Antithyroglobulin antibody Subclinical hypothyroidism Non-organ-specific autoantibodies 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Bazzichi
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Rossi
    • 2
  • C. Zirafa
    • 1
  • F. Monzani
    • 3
  • S. Tognini
    • 3
  • A. Dardano
    • 3
  • F. Santini
    • 4
  • M. Tonacchera
    • 4
  • M. De Servi
    • 4
  • C. Giacomelli
    • 1
  • F. De Feo
    • 1
  • M. Doveri
    • 1
  • G. Massimetti
    • 2
  • S. Bombardieri
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Neurobiology, Pharmacology and BiotechnologyUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  3. 3.Division of Geriatrics, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  4. 4.Department of Endocrinology and KidneyUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

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