Use of neuroimaging to understand abnormal pain sensitivity in fibromyalgia

Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2000 Apr;2(2):141-8. doi: 10.1007/s11926-000-0054-2.


This paper examines the use of neuroimaging to measure change in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) produced by pain in patients with fibromyalgia and in healthy individuals. Fibromyalgia patients differ from healthy persons in rCBF distribution in several brain structures involved in pain processing and pain modulation both at rest and during experimental pain induction. These abnormalities may contribute to abnormal pain sensitivity as well as the maladaptive pain behaviors that characterize many patients with fibromyalgia. We anticipate that future neuroimaging studies will enhance our understanding of abnormal pain sensitivity and of pain management interventions aimed at altering central nervous system function in patients with fibromyalgia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / complications*
  • Fibromyalgia / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain Threshold
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index