Fibromyalgia and widespread pain were common in Gulf War veterans with unexplained illness referred to a rheumatology clinic. Increased tenderness was demonstrated in the postmenstrual phase of the cycle compared with the intermenstrual phase in normally cycling women but not in users of oral contraceptives. Patients with fibromyalgia had high levels of symptoms that have been used to define silicone implant-associated syndrome. Tender points were found to be a common transient finding associated with acute infectious mononucleosis, but fibromyalgia was an unusual long-term outcome. The common association of fibromyalgia with other rheumatic and systemic illnesses was further explored. A preliminary study revealed a possible linkage of fibromyalgia to the HLA region. Patients with fibromyalgia were found to have an impaired ability to activate the hypothalamic pituitary portion of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis as well as the sympathoadrenal system, leading to reduced corticotropin and epinephrine response to hypoglycemia. Much interest has been expressed in the literature on the possible role of autonomic dysfunction in the development or exacerbation of fatigue and other symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome. Mycoplasma genus and mycoplasma fermentans were detected by polymerase chain reaction in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. It was reported that myofascial temporomandibular disorder does not run in families. No major therapeutic trials in fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or myofascial pain syndrome were reported over the past year. The effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy and behavior therapy for chronic pain in adults was emphasized. A favorable outcome of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome in children and adolescents was reported. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Inc.