The degree of cardiac baroreflex involvement during active standing is associated with the quality of life in fibromyalgia patients

Antonio Roberto Zamunér, Antonio Roberto Zamunér, Alberto Porta, Alberto Porta, Carolina Pieroni Andrade, Meire Forti, Andrea Marchi, Raffaello Furlan, Franca Barbic, Aparecida Maria Catai, Ester Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


© 2017 Zamunér et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a rheumatologic disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain, fatigue and other symptoms. Baroreflex dysfunction has been observed in women with FMS. However, it is unknown whether the limited involvement of the baroreflex control during an orthostatic stimulus has some impact on the quality of life of the FMS patient. Therefore, the aim of the study is evaluate the relationship between the quality of life of the FMS patient and indexes of the cardiovascular autonomic control as estimated from spontaneous fluctuations of heart period (HP) and systolic arterial pressure (SAP). We enrolled 35 women with FMS (age: 48.8±8.9 years; body mass index: 29.3±4.3 Kg/m 2 ). The electrocardiogram, non-invasive finger blood pressure and respiratory activity were continuously recorded during 15 minutes at rest in supine position (REST) and in orthostatic position during active standing (STAND). Traditional cardiovascular autonomic control markers were assessed along with a Granger causality index assessing the strength of the causal relation from SAP to HP (CR SAP → HP ) and measuring the degree of involvement of the cardiac baroreflex. The impact of FMS on quality of life was quantified by the fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (FIQ) and visual analog score for pain (VAS pain). No significant linear association was found between FIQ scores and the traditional cardiovascular indexes both at REST and during STAND (p > 0.05). However, a negative relationship between CR SAP !HP during STAND and FIQ score was found (r = -0.56, p <0.01). Similar results were found with VAS pain. In conclusion, the lower the degree of cardiac baroreflex involvement during STAND in women with FMS, the higher the impact of FMS on the quality of life, thus suggesting that Granger causality analysis might be clinically helpful in assessing the state of the FMS patient.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0179500
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017


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