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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2013 Nov-Dec;31(6 Suppl 79):S16-21. Epub 2013 Aug 26.

High prevalence of fibromyalgia-associated symptoms in patients with hypothalamic-pituitary disorders.

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Department of Medicine I, University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany.



Various complaints of patients with fibromyalgia often resemble clinical features observed in patients with hypothalamic-pituitary diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether patients with hypothalamic-pituitary diseases are at increased risk for fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).


A questionnaire for evaluating fibromyalgia-associated symptoms was sent to 121 patients with hypothalamic-pituitary disorders (HPD) (60 women, 61 men; mean age, 55.4 years; range, 21-83 years) of the endocrine outpatient clinic. 115 patients (57 women, 58 men; mean age 56.9 years; range, 21 to 82 years) with cardiovascular diseases (CD) served as controls.


Fibromyalgia-associated symptoms regarding muscular complaints were significantly more frequent in the HPD group than in CD patients (53.7 % vs. 35.7%, p= 0.003). In particular, we found a significant higher prevalence of autonomic symptoms in the HPD group as compared to the CD group regarding several qualities (cold hands, p=0.039; flatulence, p=0.022; tiredness, p=0.017). In addition, swollen and painful finger joints were reported more often in the HPD group than in the CD group (p=0.002). Of note, no differences regarding any fibromyalgia-associated symptom were detected when patients with hypothalamic-pituitary hormone excess syndromes were compared to those with a pituitary pathology without hormonal excess. Similarly, prevalence of fibromyalgia-associated symptoms was not related to the treatment modality of pituitary disease; i.e. surgical vs. conservative or any hormonal replacement therapy.


Our data suggest that patients with hypothalamic-pituitary disorders may be at increased risk of developing fibromyalgia-associated symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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