Rheumatology International

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 1259–1264 | Cite as

Elevated serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels in fibromyalgia syndrome patients correlate with body mass index, interleukin-6, interleukin-8, erythrocyte sedimentation rate

  • Yangming Xiao
  • Wanda L. Haynes
  • Joel E. Michalek
  • I. Jon Russell
Original Article


The levels of several inflammatory cytokines are abnormal in many patients with the fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and may play a role in its pathogenesis. The inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) is associated with the disease activity in patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases, but its role in FMS is unknown. We undertook this study to determine whether high-sensitivity CRP (hsCRP) is elevated in FMS and whether its levels relate to key biologic or clinical measures. One hundred and five patients with FMS (1990 ACR criteria) and 61 healthy normal controls (HNC) at a ratio of 2:1 were recruited. The serum concentrations of hsCRP, interleukin-8 (IL-8), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The hsCRP levels were marginally higher in FMS than in HNC (p = 0.06) and its abnormality rate (>1.5 SD above the HNC mean) was significantly higher in FMS (25 %) compared with HNC (6.8 %) (p = 0.03). Serum IL-8 levels, IL-6 levels, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) in FMS did not differ from those in HNC. Body mass index (BMI), ESR, IL-8, and IL-6 levels correlated with hsCRP levels in FMS. No associations were found between hsCRP and age, gender, ethnicity, or other clinical measures. Serum CRP levels were higher in FMS and significantly correlated with BMI, ESR, IL-8, and IL-6 levels, suggesting that inflammation may contribute to the symptoms in some FMS patients, particularly those who are obese. Weight loss and therapies directed against inflammation may be useful in the management of FMS patients with elevated hsCRP.


Fibromyalgia syndrome hsCRP BMI Interleukin-6 Interleukin-8 



This study was in part supported by RGK Foundation, Austin, Texas to IJR and in part supported San Antonio Area Foundation, Texas to YX.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine\Clinical ImmunologyThe University of Texas Health Science Center at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsThe University of Texas Health Science Center at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA

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