Abnormal microcirculation and temperature in skin above tender points in patients with fibromyalgia

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2000 Aug;39(8):917-21. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/39.8.917.


Objective: Skin temperature and skin blood flow were studied above different tender points in 20 patients with fibromyalgia (FM) and 20 healthy controls.

Methods: Blood flow was measured by laser Doppler flowmetry and skin temperature was measured with an infrared thermometer.

Results: In the skin above the five tender points examined in each subject, we found an increased concentration of erythrocytes, decreased erythrocyte velocity and a consequent decrease in the flux of erythrocytes. A decrease in temperature was recorded above four of the five tender points.

Conclusion: Vasoconstriction occurs in the skin above tender points in FM patients, supporting the hypothesis that FM is related to local hypoxia in the skin above tender points.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Erythrocyte Count
  • Erythrocytes / physiology
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Laser-Doppler Flowmetry
  • Male
  • Microcirculation
  • Middle Aged
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Skin Temperature*