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Chronic urticaria is usually associated with fibromyalgia syndrome

 

 

 

 

Acta Derm Venereol. 2009;89(4):389-92.

 

Chronic urticaria is usually associated with fibromyalgia syndrome.

 

Torresani C, Bellafiore S, De Panfilis G. Section of Dermatology, Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Parma IT-43100 Parma, Italy. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Although the pathophysiology of chronic urticaria is not fully understood, it is possible that dysfunctioning of peripheral cutaneous nerve fibres may be involved. It has also been suggested that fibromyalgia syndrome, a multi-symptomatic chronic pain condition, may be associated with alterations and dysfunctioning of peripheral cutaneous nerve fibres. The aim of this study was to determine whether patients with chronic urticaria are also affected by fibromyalgia syndrome. A total of 126 patients with chronic urticaria were investigated for fibromyalgia syndrome. An unexpectedly high proportion (over 70%) had fibromyalgia syndrome. The corresponding proportion for 50 control dermatological patients was 16%, which is higher than previously published data for the Italian general population (2.2%). It is possible that dysfunctional cutaneous nerve fibres of patients with fibromyalgia syndrome may release neuropeptides, which, in turn, may induce dermal microvessel dilatation and plasma extravasation. Furthermore, some neuropeptides may favour mast cell degranulation, which stimulates nerve endings, thus providing positive feedback. Chronic urticaria may thus be viewed in many patients, as a consequence of fibromyalgia syndrome; in fact, skin neuropathy (fibromyalgia syndrome) may trigger neurogenic skin inflammation (chronic urticaria).

 

PMID: 19688152 [PubMed - in process]

 

 

 

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People in this conversation

  • Urticaria is the medical term for the skin condition commonly known as 'hives' which is characterised by an itchy rash with red/white weals (small raised areas).

    This research is interesting as chronic urticaria is not widely reported as being a common symptom in fibromyalgia. The fact that 70% of chronic urticaria patients in the study met criteria for fibromyalgia diagnosis is certainly surprising but the mechanisms the researchers propose for the connection is both intriguing and plausible. Without further information however it is hard to gauge the accuracy of the results obtained by the study.

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