Thermal Quantitative Sensory Testing in Fibromyalgia Patients

Marija Mihailova, Ināra Logina, Santa Rasa, Svetlana Čapenko, Modra Murovska, Angelika Krūmiņa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic disorder manifested by diffuse musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, sleep, and emotional disturbance. The disorder is probably associated with dysfunction of C and A delta peripheral nerve fibres. Thermal quantitative sensory testing (QST) was used to analyse thinly myelinated A delta fibres and nonmylinated C fibres, which function in the nociceptive sensory system, and the spinothalamic pathway. The observation that FM pain has neuropathic nature increased the value of QST as an additional diagnostic tool. The research group included 51 patients. Somatic symptoms were assessed using the Fatigue Severity Score (FSS), Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2010 year diagnostic criteria. QST was performed by using thermal stimulus at wrist and feet. QST results were compared with 20 non-FM controls matched for age and sex. FM patients showed significant alteration of thermal perception and pain threshold compared with that in healthy controls, which demonstrated possible neuropathic pain nature in FM patients. Changes were more expressed in warm perception and heat pain threshold, which probably indicates that in FM patients C fibres are more damaged and warm perception and warm pain threshold are more sensitive, which may be used as FM diagnostics. We also found statistically significant negative correlations between warm and cold perception thresholds and between heat and cold pain thresholds, reflecting central sensitization or a defective pain inhibitory system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-222
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, Section B: Natural, Exact, and Applied Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


  • fibromyalgia
  • pain
  • quantitative sensory testing

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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