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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2014, Article ID 938576, 5 pages
Research Article

Unique Cytokine Signature in the Plasma of Patients with Fibromyalgia

1School of Nursing, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298, USA
2Institute of Women’s Health, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298, USA
3Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05401, USA

Received 19 November 2013; Revised 28 January 2014; Accepted 5 February 2014; Published 11 March 2014

Academic Editor: Jong-Young Kwak

Copyright © 2014 Jamie Sturgill 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.


Fibromyalgia (FMS) is a chronic pain syndrome with a complex but poorly understood pathogenesis affecting approximately 10 million adults in the United States. The lack of a clear etiology of FMS has limited the effective diagnosis and treatment of this debilitating condition. The objective of this secondary data analysis was to examine plasma cytokine levels in women with FMS using the Bio-Plex Human Cytokine 17-plex Assay. Post hoc analysis of plasma cytokine levels was performed to evaluate patterns that were not specified a priori. Upon examination, patients with FMS exhibited a marked reduction in cytokines such as IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13. The finding of this pattern of altered cytokine milieu not only supports the role of inflammation in FMS but also may lead to more definitive diagnostic tools for clinicians treating FMS. The suppression provides strong evidence of immune dysregulation in patients with FMS.