Fibromyalgia and Spondyloarthritis Seen to Coexist in IBD, Be Distinguished Using Ultrasound

Fibromyalgia and Spondyloarthritis Seen to Coexist in IBD, Be Distinguished Using Ultrasound
Fibromyalgia and spondyloarthritis can coexist in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and be distinguished using ultrasound imaging, a study suggests. The study, “Clinical and sonographic discrimination between fibromyalgia and spondyloarthopathy in inflammatory bowel disease with musculoskeletal pain,” was published in the journal Rheumatology. Up to 40% of people with IBD  — a group of disorders that cause chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract — develop disorders beyond those of the GI tract, including spondyloarthritis, a type of arthritis that affects the spine and, in some people, the joints of the arms and legs. Fibromyalgia can also occur in association with IBD, and worsen chronic pain in these patients. However, its true prevalence and origin — whether it develops as a complication of IBD, or occurs independently in susceptible individuals — are still controversial. Some people with IBD also have polyenthesitis — inflammation of several entheses, the connective tissue between tendons or ligaments and bones — as a result of concomitant spondyloarthritis. “A major challenge in this area is that polyenthesitis that may be associated with SpA [spondyloarthritis] in IBD is clinically very difficult to differentiate from FM [fibromyalgia], leading to potential misclassification and either under-treatment or overtreatment of patients,” the researchers wrote. To address this issue and estimate the prevalence of pure fibromyalgia and fibromyalgia associated with spondyloarthritis, investigators analyzed clinical data from a group of 301 patients with IBD — 150 with Crohn’s disease and 151 with ulcerative colitis  — enrolled at two Italian centers. Researchers also investigated if ultrasound imag
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