Objective: To investigate the metabolic and functional status of muscles of fibromyalgia (FM) patients, using P-31 magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).
Methods: Twelve patients with FM and 11 healthy subjects were studied. Clinical status was assessed by questionnaire. Biochemical status of muscle was evaluated with P-31 MRS by determining concentrations of inorganic phosphate (Pi), phosphocreatine (PCr), ATP, and phosphodiesters during rest and exercise. Functional status was evaluated from the PCr/Pi ratio, phosphorylation potential (PP), and total oxidative capacity (Vmax).
Results: Patients with FM reported greater difficulty in performing activities of daily living as well as increased pain, fatigue, and weakness compared with controls. MRS measurements showed that patients had significantly lower than normal PCr and ATP levels (P < 0.004) and PCr/Pi ratios (P < 0.04) in the quadriceps muscles during rest. Values for PP and Vmax also were significantly reduced during rest and exercise.
Conclusion: P-31 MRS provides objective evidence for metabolic abnormalities consistent with weakness and fatigue in patients with FM. Noninvasive P-31 MRS may be useful in assessing clinical status and evaluating the effectiveness of treatment regimens in FM.