Is There a Test for Fibromyalgia?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

I am a 42-year-old female. Eight years ago, I was diagnosed with MS. Now that diagnosis is being questioned. (My MRI results then and now were both negative.) My rheumatologist says I have fibromyalgia based on sensitive trigger points. Because of a decreased platelet and WBC (131,000 and 3.1), he suspected lupus and ordered an ANA and sent me to a hematologist. The ANA came back 1:320 with a nucleolar pattern, and the hematologist says I have scleroderma. Can the nucleolar pattern be seen in SLE or MS or fibromyalgia, or all three? The only other abnormal test so far was a dexa-scan which showed oseopenic hips and osteoporotic lumbar spine (-2.99 in a couple of places). Please give me any input you can.

Doctor's response

Nucleolar pattern ANAs suggest to the doctor to look closely for the possible development of scleroderma. Nevertheless, nucleolar pattern ANAs are sometimes seen in patients with SLE and other conditions as well as in normal persons.

All of the diseases you have mentioned require more than an ANA for diagnosis - this is the key point.

Thank you for your question.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018