Diagnosis of fibromyalgia: diagnostic feasibility and accuracy of thermography

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Claudia Kumpel
Anselmo Cordeiro de Souza
José Sávio Ribeiro
Hildemar Minoru Shirata
Júlia de Oliveira
Cesário Bianchi Filho


Introduction: Studies have suggested using thermography as a resource to diagnose fibromyalgia, although there has been no evidence confirming this hypothesis so far. Objective: To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of computerized infrared thermography as an auxiliary method for diagnosing fibromyalgia. Methods: It is a diagnostic accuracy studywith cross-sectional design. One hundred and three individuals were evaluated for global pain using the Visual Analogue Scale. The measurement of pain at tender points was assessed by algometry, and skin temperature was assessed by thermography. To evaluate sensitivity and specificity, the analysis was performed using the Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve, measured by the area under the curve with their respective confidence intervals. Results: Thermography has not been very sensitive or specific for pain (tender points) and diagnosis of fibromyalgia, according to the evaluation of the Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve, with an area under the curve equal to or lower than 0.75. Conclusion: In this study the thermography was not sensitive and specific as a tool for diagnosing the fibromyalgia syndrome. This study highlights important clinical implications concerning the current methods for diagnosing it, which, despite all efforts, are still subjective and poorly reproducible.


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Kumpel, C., Souza, A. C. de, Ribeiro, J. S., Shirata, H. M., Oliveira, J. de, & Bianchi Filho, C. (2022). Diagnosis of fibromyalgia: diagnostic feasibility and accuracy of thermography. ABCS Health Sciences. https://doi.org/10.7322/abcshs.2021113.2146
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