Increased concentrations of homocysteine in the cerebrospinal fluid in patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome

Scand J Rheumatol. 1997;26(4):301-7. doi: 10.3109/03009749709105320.


Twelve outpatients, all women, who fulfilled the criteria for both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome were rated on 15 items of the Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale (CPRS-15). These items were chosen to constitute a proper neurasthenic subscale. Blood laboratory levels were generally normal. The most obvious finding was that, in all the patients, the homocysteine (HCY) levels were increased in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). There was a significant positive correlation between CSF-HCY levels and fatiguability, and the levels of CSF-B12 correlated significantly with the item of fatiguability and with CPRS-15. The correlations between vitamin B12 and clinical variables of the CPRS-scale in this study indicate that low CSF-B12 values are of clinical importance. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes a deficient remethylation of HCY and is therefore probably contributing to the increased homocysteine levels found in our patient group. We conclude that increased homocysteine levels in the central nervous system characterize patients fulfilling the criteria for both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cystathionine / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / complications
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Fibromyalgia / complications
  • Homocysteine / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Humans
  • Methionine / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Vitamin B 12 / cerebrospinal fluid


  • Homocysteine
  • Cystathionine
  • Methionine
  • Vitamin B 12