Plasma nitrite levels, total antioxidant status, total oxidant status, and oxidative stress index in patients with tension-type headache and fibromyalgia

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2013 Jun;115(6):736-40. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2012.08.028. Epub 2012 Oct 12.


Objectives: Tension-type headache (TTH) and fibromyalgia syndrome (FM) are worldwide seen chronic pain syndromes of unknown etiology. Despite the growing body of data on pathophysiology and generation mechanisms of pain; our knowledge on pain mechanisms in both FM and TTH is yet to be limited.

Patients and methods: We investigated the plasma nitrite levels, total antioxidant status (TAS), total oxidant status (TOS), and oxidative stress index (OSI) in 35 TTH, 33 FM patients and 31 healthy controls.

Results: The mean plasma nitrite levels and TAS levels were significantly low and OSI was found to be significantly high in TTH and FM groups compared to the control group (p=0.001, p=0.001, p=0.001 and p=0.001, respectively). The mean serum TOS levels were also significantly higher in FM group according to the control group (p=0.034), but there was not a significant difference between TTH and control groups (p=0.066).

Conclusion: These results indicated that; FM and TTH patients revealed higher oxidative stress index and lower total nitrite levels than healthy controls. We conclude that oxidative stress may have a role in the pathophysiological mechanisms of TTH and FM, although, whether it is the cause or the consequence, is not clear.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / blood
  • Fibromyalgia / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitrites / blood*
  • Oxidants / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Tension-Type Headache / blood
  • Tension-Type Headache / metabolism*
  • Young Adult


  • Antioxidants
  • Nitrites
  • Oxidants