2016 Revisions to the 2010/2011 fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria

Frederick Wolfe, Daniel J. Clauw, Mary Ann Fitzcharles, Don L. Goldenberg, Winfried Häuser, Robert L. Katz, Philip J. Mease, Anthony S. Russell, Irwin Jon Russell, Brian Walitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

715 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives The provisional criteria of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2010 and the 2011 self-report modification for survey and clinical research are widely used for fibromyalgia diagnosis. To determine the validity, usefulness, potential problems, and modifications required for the criteria, we assessed multiple research reports published in 2010–2016 in order to provide a 2016 update to the criteria. Methods We reviewed 14 validation studies that compared 2010/2011 criteria with ACR 1990 classification and clinical criteria, as well as epidemiology, clinical, and databank studies that addressed important criteria-level variables. Based on definitional differences between 1990 and 2010/2011 criteria, we interpreted 85% sensitivity and 90% specificity as excellent agreement. Results Against 1990 and clinical criteria, the median sensitivity and specificity of the 2010/2011 criteria were 86% and 90%, respectively. The 2010/2011 criteria led to misclassification when applied to regional pain syndromes, but when a modified widespread pain criterion (the “generalized pain criterion”) was added misclassification was eliminated. Based on the above data and clinic usage data, we developed a (2016) revision to the 2010/2011 fibromyalgia criteria. Fibromyalgia may now be diagnosed in adults when all of the following criteria are met: (1) Generalized pain, defined as pain in at least 4 of 5 regions, is present. (2) Symptoms have been present at a similar level for at least 3 months. (3) Widespread pain index (WPI) ≥ 7 and symptom severity scale (SSS) score ≥ 5 OR WPI of 4–6 and SSS score ≥ 9. (4) A diagnosis of fibromyalgia is valid irrespective of other diagnoses. A diagnosis of fibromyalgia does not exclude the presence of other clinically important illnesses.Conclusions The fibromyalgia criteria have good sensitivity and specificity. This revision combines physician and questionnaire criteria, minimizes misclassification of regional pain disorders, and eliminates the previously confusing recommendation regarding diagnostic exclusions. The physician-based criteria are valid for individual patient diagnosis. The self-report version of the criteria is not valid for clinical diagnosis in individual patients but is valid for research studies. These changes allow the criteria to function as diagnostic criteria, while still being useful for classification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-329
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Classification
  • Criteria
  • Diagnosis
  • Fibromyalgia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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