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Pain Res Manag. 2012 Mar-Apr;17(2):89-92.

Evaluation of leptin levels among fibromyalgia patients before and after three months of treatment, in comparison with healthy controls.

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  • 1Department of Rheumatology, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.



Leptin, an adipocyte-produced cytokine, interacts with various hormones, including those of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by widespread pain accompanied by tenderness. The pathogenesis involves a disturbance in pain processing and transmission by the central nervous system, leading to a general increase in pain perception.


To analyze potential changes in leptin levels among female fibromyalgia patients compared with healthy controls, and to evaluate the changes in leptin levels during treatment.


Sixteen female fibromyalgia patients were recruited. Patients underwent clinical evaluation, physical examination, including manual dolorimetry, and were evaluated regarding quality of life, pain, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Plasma leptin levels were determined by ELISA. Patients were offered standard treatment for fibromyalgia. Clinical evaluation and leptin determination were repeated after three months.


No significant difference was observed between leptin levels among fibromyalgia patients and controls; no significant correlation was observed between leptin levels and clinical parameters reflecting fibromyalgia severity; and no significant change was observed in leptin levels over three months of treatment. These results did not change after adjustment of leptin levels for body mass index values.


The results of the present study do not support the existence of a significant relationship between leptin and fibromyalgia pathogenesis. Increasing the sample size or examining the interaction between leptin and additional hormones⁄mediators of metabolism and body weight control may yet uncover significant information in this field.

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