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Thermal temporal summation and decay of after-sensations in temporomandibular myofascial pain patients with and without comorbid fibromyalgia

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      Chronic myofascial temporomandibular disorders (TMD) may have multiple etiological and maintenance factors. One potential factor, central pain sensitization, was quantified here as the response to the temporal summation (TS) paradigm, and that response was compared between case and control groups.


      As previous research has shown that fibromyalgia (FM) is diagnosed iñ20% of TMD patients, Aim 1 determined whether central sensitization is found preferentially in myofascial TMD cases that have orofacial pain as a regional manifestation of FM. Aim 2 determined if the report of after-sensations (AS) following TS varied depending on whether repeated stimuli were rated as increasingly painful.


      One hundred sixty-eight women, 43 controls, 100 myofascial TMD-only cases, and 25 myofascial TMD + FM cases, were compared on thermal warmth and pain thresholds, thermal TS, and decay of thermal AS. All cases met Research Diagnostic Criteria for TMD; comorbid cases also met the 1990 American College of Rheumatology criteria for FM.


      Pain thresholds and TS were similar in all groups. When TS was achieved (~60%), significantly higher levels of AS were reported in the first poststimulus interval, and AS decayed more slowly over time, in myofascial TMD cases than controls. By contrast, groups showed similar AS decay patterns following steady state or decreasing responses to repetitive stimulation.


      In this case–control study, all myofascial TMD cases were characterized by a similar delay in the decay of AS. Thus, this indicator of central sensitization failed to suggest different pain maintenance factors in myofascial TMD cases with and without FM.

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      Most cited references 45

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      The American College of Rheumatology 1990 Criteria for the Classification of Fibromyalgia. Report of the Multicenter Criteria Committee.

      To develop criteria for the classification of fibromyalgia, we studied 558 consecutive patients: 293 patients with fibromyalgia and 265 control patients. Interviews and examinations were performed by trained, blinded assessors. Control patients for the group with primary fibromyalgia were matched for age and sex, and limited to patients with disorders that could be confused with primary fibromyalgia. Control patients for the group with secondary-concomitant fibromyalgia were matched for age, sex, and concomitant rheumatic disorders. Widespread pain (axial plus upper and lower segment plus left- and right-sided pain) was found in 97.6% of all patients with fibromyalgia and in 69.1% of all control patients. The combination of widespread pain and mild or greater tenderness in greater than or equal to 11 of 18 tender point sites yielded a sensitivity of 88.4% and a specificity of 81.1%. Primary fibromyalgia patients and secondary-concomitant fibromyalgia patients did not differ statistically in any major study variable, and the criteria performed equally well in patients with and those without concomitant rheumatic conditions. The newly proposed criteria for the classification of fibromyalgia are 1) widespread pain in combination with 2) tenderness at 11 or more of the 18 specific tender point sites. No exclusions are made for the presence of concomitant radiographic or laboratory abnormalities. At the diagnostic or classification level, the distinction between primary fibromyalgia and secondary-concomitant fibromyalgia (as defined in the text) is abandoned.
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            Author and article information

            [1 ]Epidemiology and Health Promotion
            [2 ]Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology, and Medicine, NYU College of Dentistry, New York, NY
            [3 ]Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
            [4 ]Department of Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, USA
            Author notes
            Correspondence: Malvin N Janal, Epidemiology and Health Promotion, NYU College of Dentistry, Suite 301, 380 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10010, USA, Email mj62@
            J Pain Res
            J Pain Res
            Journal of Pain Research
            Journal of Pain Research
            Dove Medical Press
            12 September 2016
            : 9
            : 641-652
            5026221 10.2147/JPR.S109038 jpr-9-641
            © 2016 Janal et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

            The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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