Fibromyalgia syndrome in patients with hepatitis C infection
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FS) is characterized by widespread pain and tenderness at specific anatomic sites. Different theories have been proposed in the etiopathogenesis of this syndrome, and besides genetic, neuroendocrine, psychologic, and traumatic causes, infections have also been reported. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the presence of FS in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Ninety-five patients with chronic HCV infection and 95 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. The 1990 American College of Rheumatology classification criteria were used for the diagnosis of FS. Tender point count, pain intensity, sleep disturbance, stiffness, headache, paresthesia, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and sicca- and Raynaud-like symptoms were assessed. Fibromyalgia was found in 18.9% of patients and 5.3% of healthy controls. Mean tender point count, pain intensity scored on a visual analog scale (VAS), sleep disturbance, stiffness, paresthesia, and fatigue were higher in the HCV group. No significant relationship was observed between the two groups regarding headache, IBS, and sicca- and Raynaud-like symptoms. In addition, mean tender point count and pain intensity scores were also significantly higher in HCV patients with FS than in control subjects with FS. All of the symptoms except stiffness were not statistically significant between the HCV and control groups with FS. Our results demonstrate a tendency toward higher prevalence of FS in patients with HCV infection. Besides various extrahepatic features, musculoskeletal disorders including fibromyalgia might be expected in the progression of HCV infection. Detailed examination of the patients helps to differentiate FS from other musculoskeletal complications of HCV infection. This will provide appropriate management approaches and better quality of life for them.
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Uzm.Dr. Bahri ABAYLI