Symptoms mimicking neurologic disorders in fibromyalgia syndrome

J Rheumatol. 1988 Aug;15(8):1271-3.


Recent reports have not emphasized the presence of paresthesias in fibromyalgia syndrome. In our retrospective review of 161 patients with fibromyalgia we found that 84% complained of numbness or tingling at initial evaluation. Most had either bilateral upper and lower extremity or bilateral upper extremity paresthesias. None had concurrent diseases commonly associated with peripheral neuropathy. Thirty-six patients with paresthesias had electromyograms performed before the diagnosis of fibromyalgia and 32 were normal. At a second assessment performed at a mean of 25 months from time of diagnosis, 56 of these 57 patients reported current paresthesias. Paresthesias are common in fibromyalgia and may mimic a neurologic disorder, although objective abnormalities are rare. Judicious use of neurodiagnostic tests are therefore indicated in the clinical setting of fibromyalgia.

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Extremities
  • Fibromyalgia / complications
  • Fibromyalgia / diagnosis*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Paresthesia / complications
  • Paresthesia / diagnosis*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Syndrome