Classification and Clinical Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Recommendations of Recent Evidence-Based Interdisciplinary Guidelines

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:528952. doi: 10.1155/2013/528952. Epub 2013 Nov 26.

Abstract

Objectives. Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), characterized by subjective complaints without physical or biomarker abnormality, courts controversy. Recommendations in recent guidelines addressing classification and diagnosis were examined for consistencies or differences. Methods. Systematic searches from January 2008 to February 2013 of the US-American National Guideline Clearing House, the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network, Guidelines International Network, and Medline for evidence-based guidelines for the management of FMS were conducted. Results. Three evidence-based interdisciplinary guidelines, independently developed in Canada, Germany, and Israel, recommended that FMS can be clinically diagnosed by a typical cluster of symptoms following a defined evaluation including history, physical examination, and selected laboratory tests, to exclude another somatic disease. Specialist referral is only recommended when some other physical or mental illness is reasonably suspected. The diagnosis can be based on the (modified) preliminary American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2010 diagnostic criteria. Discussion. Guidelines from three continents showed remarkable consistency regarding the clinical concept of FMS, acknowledging that FMS is neither a distinct rheumatic nor mental disorder, but rather a cluster of symptoms, not explained by another somatic disease. While FMS remains an integral part of rheumatology, it is not an exclusive rheumatic condition and spans a broad range of medical disciplines.

Publication types

  • Review