Abnormal sympathovagal balance in men with fibromyalgia

H. Cohen, L. Neumann, A. Alhosshle, M. Kotler, M. Abu-Shakra, D. Buskila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Objective. It is possible that there are differences in clinical manifestations between men and women with fibromyalgia syndrome (FM), especially in autonomic dysfunction; we assessed the interaction between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems in postural change in men with FM using power spectral analysis (PSA) of heart rate variability (HRV), and investigated the pathogenesis of the orthostatic intolerance. Methods. We studied 19 men with FM and 19 controls matched for age and sex. A high resolution electrocardiogram was obtained in supine and standing postures during complete rest. Spectral analysis of R-R intervals was done by the fast Fourier transform algorithm. Results. PSA of HRV revealed that men with FM at rest are characterized by sympathetic hyperactivity and concomitantly reduced parasympathetic activity. During postural changes, male patients demonstrated an abnormal sympathovagal response. These results provide the physiological basis for the orthostatic intolerance in men with FM. Conclusion. This report of autonomic dysfunction in men with FM revealed an abnormal autonomic response to orthostatic stress. This abnormality may have implications regarding the symptoms of FM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-589
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 20 Mar 2001


  • Anxiety
  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia syndrome
  • Heart rate variability
  • Power spectral analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Abnormal sympathovagal balance in men with fibromyalgia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this