High In vivo Platelet Activity in Female Fibromyalgia Patients

Introduction:Fibromyalgia (FMS) is a pain syndrome characterized by chronic widespread pain and hyperalgesia/allodynia. Many affected are women and risk factors are unidentified. Today, a certain number of set criteria of disease signs and symptoms must be met for the diagnosis to be made. These criteria are used because of the lack of reliable biomarkers or other medical examination. The current study examines if in vivo platelet activity varies between FMS and controls without FMS.

Material and Methods: The study involves 24 females (age 38 + 9 (SD) years) with diagnosed FMS. 25 healthy females (age 50 + 12 (SD) years) without FMS served as controls. After sampling the whole platelet population was separated according to density with a linear Percoll™, into 17 density fractions. Platelet counts was carried out in all fractions using a routine cell counter. In addition, a flow cytometer was used to measure platelet bound fibrinogen without platelet agonist, reflecting in vivo platelet activity.

Results: The study groups did not differ with respect to the distribution of platelets in the gradient. FMS sufferers demonstrated a significant higher platelet bound fibrinogen in most of the platelet density fractions. In particular, significant differences (p < 0.05) were obtained in fractions numbers 2-14 and 16. In difference, fractions numbers 1, 15 and 17 did not show any significant variance.

Discussion: This is the first study to examine in vivo platelet activity in FMS. The results indicate that FMS is associated with elevated in vivo platelet activity compared to individuals without FMS. The clinical significance and the biochemical mechanisms regarding platelet heterogeneity are still uncertain. The results stimulate further research to elucidate the importance of platelet diversity in FMS.


Milovanovic M, Nilsson S, Haakara PI, Post and Gerdle B

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