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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7296125, 9 pages
Review Article

Gray Matter Atrophy within the Default Mode Network of Fibromyalgia: A Meta-Analysis of Voxel-Based Morphometry Studies

Chemin Lin,1,2 Shwu-Hua Lee,2,3 and Hsu-Huei Weng4,5,6,7,8

1Department of Psychiatry, Keelung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Keelung, Taiwan
2College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
3Department of Psychiatry, Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
4Department of Radiology, Chiayi Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chiayi, Taiwan
5Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Chiayi Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Chiayi, Taiwan
6Department of Respiratory Care, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Chiayi, Taiwan
7Department of Psychology, National Chung Cheng University, Chiayi, Taiwan
8Department of Imaging Physics, Division of Diagnostic Imaging, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

Received 16 September 2016; Accepted 6 December 2016

Academic Editor: Sadiq Umar

Copyright © 2016 Chemin Lin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Over the years, studies have demonstrated morphological changes in the brain of fibromyalgia (FMS). We aimed to conduct a coordinate-based meta-analytic research through systemic review on voxel-based morphometry (VBM) imaging results to identify consistent gray matter (GM) difference between FMS patients and healthy subjects. We performed a comprehensive literature search in PubMed (January 2000–December 2015) and included six VBM publication on FMS. Stereotactic data were extracted from 180 patients of FMS and 123 healthy controls. By means of activation likelihood estimation (ALE) technique, regional GM reduction in left medial prefrontal cortex and right dorsal posterior cingulate cortex was identified. Both regions are within the default mode network. In conclusion, the gray matter deficit is related to the both affective and nonaffective components of pain processing. This result also provided the neuroanatomical correlates for emotional and cognitive symptoms in FMS.