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J Rheumatol. 1992 Jan;19(1):90-4.

Plasma tryptophan and other amino acids in primary fibromyalgia: a controlled study.

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Department of Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Peoria 61656.


To test the hypothesis that plasma tryptophan and/or its transport ratio is decreased in primary fibromyalgia (PF), we measured plasma tryptophan and its transport ratio in 29 patients with PF and 30 healthy controls without significant pain, in a blinded manner. Twenty-one other amino acids were also similarly analyzed among these study subjects. Transport ratio of tryptophan was found to be significantly (p less than 0.01) decreased in PF compared with the control group (0.09 +/- 0.02 vs 0.10 +/- 0.02). Plasma tryptophan level was lower in PF (45 +/- 10 nmol/ml) than in healthy controls (51 +/- 15 nmol/ml), showing a trend towards significance (p less than 0.09). Additionally, plasma histidine and serine levels were found to be significantly (p less than 0.01) lower in patients with PF than in controls. Our results suggest that a decreased brain serotonin level, as possibly reflected by a decreased transport ratio of plasma tryptophan, may play a pathophysiologic role in PF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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