Fibromyalgia pain linked to inflammatory cytokine level

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Does pro-inflammatory cytokine excess cause pain?

Science: Those who had higher levels of the major pro-inflammatory cytokine (PIC) IL-8 also had more pain. As IL-8 increased, so did pain. As IL-8 decreased, pain decreased.

Conclusion: The PIC IL-8 appears to be a significant cause of pain in fibromyalgia.


Levels of IL-8 are high, and correlate with pain intensity, in those with fibromyalgia.

Cause of Fibromyalgia PainThe study referenced below looked at cytokine levels in the blood of 32 healthy volunteers and compared findings with those from 81 fibromyalgia patients.

The most noteworthy finding was that IL-8 levels were found to be elevated in those with fibromyalgia. Furthermore, there was a direct correlation between IL-8 level and pain intensity, suggesting that IL-8 may play a key role in the pathology of fibromyalgia, and especially in the pain of fibromyalgia.

February, 2002

Cytokines and depression in cases with fibromyalgia.

Summary of the Abstract

Fibromyalgia is a chronic, painful disorder characterized by widespread pain, morning stiffness, non-restorative sleep and frequent depression. Its cause remains unknown.

Serum IL-8 was determined in 32 healthy volunteers and 81 fibromyalgia patients.

Serum IL-8 was significantly higher in fibromyalgia patients, and was found to be related to pain intensity.

IL-8 may play an important role in the generation of pain in fibromyalgia.

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