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Auditory-evoked potentials as a tool for follow-up of fibromyalgia


Aim of the study

In this study, we assessed the value of auditory-evoked potentials (AEPs) as objective measurable reproducible tests for the follow-up of patients with fibromyalgia (FM) in response to pharmacologic and rehabilitative therapy.

Patients and methods

This study included 30 female FM patients and 10 age-matched female controls. All participants underwent a clinical examination, a psychiatric and functional assessment (sleep score, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) and measurement of AEPs elicited by tones of increasing intensity (60, 70, 80, and 90 dB) known as late cortical responses and cognitive auditory potentials (P300). Patients were subdivided into three equal groups. Group 1 received pregabalin, group 2 received fluoxetine, and group 3 included patients who performed a graded aerobic exercise program. Assessment was repeated at the end of the 8-week treatment period.


Patients had significantly shorter N1 latencies at 60 and 70 dB, significantly shorter P2 latencies at all the studied intensities, and significantly higher N1P2 amplitudes at 90 dB.There was a statistically significant decrease in amplitude and a significant increase in P300 latency when compared with controls. Changes in AEP values before and after treatment were closely associated with the changes in psychiatric and functional assessment parameters.


Improvement in the clinical assessment of the different symptoms of FM goes hand in hand with the improvement in the late cortical and cognitive components of AEPs, which provides evidence of the value of AEP as a simple, noninvasive, objective, and reproducible follow-up tool for assessment of hypervigilance and cognitive function in FM patients.


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Correspondence to Dina S. Al-Zifzaf.

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Abdel-Kader, A.A., Kamel, N.S., EI-Ganzouri, A.M. et al. Auditory-evoked potentials as a tool for follow-up of fibromyalgia. Egypt Rheumatol Rehabil 40, 224–233 (2013).

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  • auditory-evoked potential
  • cognitive function
  • fibromyalgia
  • hypervigilance
  • P300