Elevated cerebrospinal fluid levels of substance P in patients with the fibromyalgia syndrome

Arthritis Rheum. 1994 Nov;37(11):1593-601. doi: 10.1002/art.1780371106.


Objective: To measure, and seek clinical correlates with, levels of substance P (SP) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) patients.

Methods: CSF from 32 FMS patients and 30 normal control subjects was tested for SP by radioimmunoassay. Clinical measures included tender point examination and standardized questionnaires.

Results: CSF SP levels were 3-fold higher in FMS patients than in normal controls (P < 0.001), but they correlated only weakly with tenderness found on examination.

Conclusion: SP is significantly elevated in FMS CSF, but other abnormalities must exist in FMS to more fully explain the symptoms.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Regression Analysis
  • Spinal Puncture / adverse effects
  • Substance P / cerebrospinal fluid*


  • Substance P