Role of inflammation in the pathogenesis and treatment of fibromyalgia

Rheumatol Int. 2019 May;39(5):781-791. doi: 10.1007/s00296-019-04251-6. Epub 2019 Feb 13.


Fibromyalgia is a multifaceted disease. The clinical picture of fibromyalgia covers numerous comorbidities. Each comorbidity stands as a distinct condition. However, common pathophysiologic factors are occupied in their background. Along with the genetic, environmental and neuro-hormonal factors, inflammation has been supposed to have role in the pathogenesis of fibromyalgia. The aim of the present article was to review the current literature regarding the potential role of inflammation in the pathogenesis and treatment of fibromyalgia. A literature search was conducted through PubMed/MEDLINE and Web of Science databases using relevant keywords. Recent evidence on this highly studied topic indicates that fibromyalgia has an immunological background. Cytokines/chemokines, lipid mediators, oxidative stress and several plasma-derived factors underlie the inflammatory state in fibromyalgia. There are potential new therapeutic options targeting inflammatory pathways in fibromyalgia patients. In conclusion, there is evidence to support the inflammation-driven pathways in the pathogenesis of fibromyalgia. However, further research is required to fully understand the network of inflammation and its possible role in diagnosis and/or treatment of fibromyalgia.

Keywords: Cytokines; Fibromyalgia; Inflammation; Inflammatory markers; Neurogenic inflammation; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Fibromyalgia / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Oxidative Stress / immunology*


  • Cytokines