New Fibromyalgia Blood Test Boasts 94 Percent Accuracy

New Fibromyalgia Blood Test Boasts 94 Percent Accuracy

By Donna Gregory Burch.

iQuity, a Nashville-based data science company, is now offering a blood test to aid in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. The IsolateFibromyalgia test relies on RNA gene expression to identify fibromyalgia, a disorder of unknown origin that causes body-wide pain, fatigue, cognitive issues and other debilitating symptoms.

Donna Gregory Burch

“RNA analysis is a cutting-edge tool for doctors that has great potential in the field of medical diagnostics,” said Chase Spurlock, iQuity’s CEO, in a press release. “Unlike DNA, which can predict the risk of certain diseases, RNA shows what’s taking place right now in a patient’s cells. That information can speed up the pace of diagnosis for physicians, leading to faster, more effective treatment for patients.”

The IsolateFibromyalgia test is 94 percent accurate, based on iQuity’s clinical validation studies. To develop the test, iQuity compared the long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) of:

  • 106 fibromyalgia patients
  • 353 disease controls, including patients with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other rheumatic conditions, plus those with moderate or severe depression
  • 136 healthy controls.

After comparing the three groups, iQuity researchers were able to identify a specific lncRNA pattern among those with fibromyalgia.

(Read: What is RNA and how is it different than DNA?)

iQuity offers similar tests for multiple sclerosis and IBS/IBD.

Asked if the pattern sheds any light on the underlying mechanisms of fibromyalgia, Spurlock said it’s too early to tell.

“Many of the lncRNAs that are very specific for a disease have never been discovered before so with each lncRNA we identify, it’s a brand new era as we go in and try to ascribe a function to those lncRNAs,” Spurlock said during a recent interview. “We don’t know enough about the biology of the lncRNAs to know what each of these specific lncRNAs might do within the context of a living cell. Our next step will be more of a mechanistic investigation to say given that we see these big differences in these lncRNAs, what might they do and how might they function in a living cell?”

The IsolateFibromyalgia test costs $599 and is not currently covered by health insurance. Patients who can’t afford the test outright can apply for a six-month, no-interest credit option through Paypal Credit. Patients without a medical provider will soon be able to access the test via HealthTestExpress.com.

iQuity requires a doctor’s order for the test, and results are usually available within seven days.

Since the test is new, iQuity has developed a brochure that patients can print and take to their next doctor’s appointment to facilitate conversation.

“One of the things we want to do is provide clinically useful information for doctors,” Spurlock said. “It’s our goal that [fibromyalgia] not be a disease of exclusion and that providers can actually have actionable information from day one. Too often these patients can go down very different treatment paths, and they can also go from one physician to another, trying to get an answer so we’re committed to providing an answer as fast as we possibly can.”

Fibromyalgia is generally a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning physicians attempt to rule out conditions with similar symptoms before diagnosing fibromyalgia.

There is currently one other fibromyalgia blood test on the market, the FM/a test from EpicGenetics, although it is not widely accepted by the medical community.

Now it’s your turn: Would you be interested in having iQuity’s new fibromyalgia blood test? Why or why not? Share in the comments! 

Donna Gregory Burch was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2014 after several years of unexplained pain, fatigue and other symptoms. She was later diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease. Donna covers news, treatments, research and practical tips for living better with fibromyalgia and Lyme on her blog, FedUpwithFatigue.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Donna is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared online and in newspapers and magazines throughout Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania. She lives in Delaware with her husband and their many fur babies.

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Authored by: Donna Gregory Burch

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Linda S Thomas

I would love to do it, but can’t afford. I know I have fibro and many other conditions…but do my drs really believe me??

Cheng CL

I am not sure how overseas patient can participate in the blood test.

Being an Asian living outside of the US / UK countries, the medical practitioners in my place are so very old school. The disease is very rare in my place too.

That is why I have gone through visiting at least half a dozen of specialists (in circle) and various test/scan. The process was as exhausting as my energy level (basically all depleted.)
I lost the ability to work full time or even part time.

I agree it is necessary to have a biomaker / lab test for diagnosis so the patients can convey the message and be certain that they can move on to the relevant nutrient supplements.
The reason why I finally accepted I am a fibromyalgia patient is not about exclusion or couting the trigger points in pain which was guesstimiation only. I had a muscleskeletal doctor who tried to resolve my pains using ultrasound guided prolotherapy/PRP and found out that I had very stiff / harden myofascial tissues all over the body, from neck to feet. (Of course the prolotherapy/PRP did not resolved the depletion of ATP level side at all. CoQ10 and Magnesium Malate, D-Ribose work far better than injection of PRP. )

Brett Husebye

I have Fibromyalgia and would have appreciated this test before my butterfly rash came out. I am in a lot of pain daily and my diagnosis took testing. I believe there is something more to Fibromyalgia than shunts or nerve issues. They found a fluid filled space called the interstitium. I am wondering what if any issues of this fluid filled space are symptoms of Fibromyalgia. I have had this all my life but never realized it until age 32 when the first twinges of Fibro pain showed up and at 40 the pain became full blown. Skin issues all my life with Seborrheic dermatitis and I believe this is caused by my Fibro. I had bad Fibro Fog in High School even though I have 140+ IQ. At 42 I could no longer stand the pain and went to a sports doc who said I have Spinal Arthritis. That led to pain management and a further search for diagnosis. No one hurts all over for no good reason at all. I can get up in the morning and put my hand in scalding water and not feel a thing. But I can stick my foot in and I am burned. Shunts in the hands are either opened or closed in the AM after sleep dealing with “body cooling”. But after a hot soak we can function better. The whole thing makes me wonder if the interstitium is involved.

A. MacKenzie

I don’t think it would be helpful to take the test as there is no particular treatment that addresses the underlying condition of “fibromyalgia”. Getting a “diagnosis” of fibromyalgia accomplishes nothing except possibly to qualify one for disability. What I want is to be able to test for underlying causes of fibromyalgia, such as Lyme or Lyme co-infections, and have the medical profession actually take these conditions seriously and insurance companies to cover such tests and treatments. The current trend it seems in our popular culture, happily embraced by politicians, etc., is to jump on the proverbial bandwagon and join the politically correct outcry against “THE OPIOID CRISIS” – ginned up by overblown press coverage – and be very willing to deny relief to chronic pain suffers, while doing NOTHING to address the underlying causes, and even forbidding doctors to examine these issues.

jeanie

Many people who suffer from a severe adverse reaction to fluoroquinolone antibiotics get diagnosed with fibromyalgia. We call it, “Cipromyalgia.” I would be very interested to see what might be common in our blood tests; there is no test for fluoroquinolone toxicity syndrome, or FQAD, and hundreds of thousands of people could benefit from having one!

Karen

Yes I would love to take the test!

It’s still too early in the testing and I would like to see a third-party test done. If it’s as promising as it seems, eventually everyone will hear about it. With this being new, even if I did have a test and took it to my physicians they would probably questionit’s validity.
Exciting news though:-)

Constance

I wish you would spend your time actu ally doing something for fibromyalgia symptoms

John Quintner

In a recently published article on social media, fibromyalgia experts Drs Winfreid Häuser and Mary-Ann Fitzcharles discuss the issue of diagnosis: https://bodyinmind.org/fibromyalgia/

On the one hand, they claim: “FM is no longer considered to be a unique disorder. It may co-exist with other conditions.”

Whilst on the other hand, it appears that: “FM is a heterogenous condition with variability in symptoms and symptom intensity, psychophysiologic responses to stress, patterns of coping and outcomes with treatment.

According to their logic, it would seem impossible to diagnose “non-fibromyalgia”.

How the new test will fare in the real world is anyone’s guess.

Stacy Cooper

I wonder if it would help with the Social Security disability application process.

Karen C.

I would love to take the FM blood test to possibly rule out Fibro. I already have RSD/CRPS, Peripheral Neuropathy, and Rheumatoid Arthritis and this new blood test would give me peace of mind. Thanks so much for sharing this new information with us!

Karen

Traci Gresham

This is the most AMAZING news! So much frustration cut out…YES!!

nana

I would not be interested.

So much of testing, research, etc. is based on a very small sample such as this. The numbers do not impress me.

I was dx by igf1 test. It showed enough that the 15 yo dx was confirmed and it is covered by insurance. They have used this test for years.

I don’t think tried and true testing, prescriptions, etc can be accurately be corrected by spendy, quickly researched new ones. Designer drugs with lots of side effects (some lethal) included.

Maureen M.

Good news!! Thank you Donna!

StevefromMA

I’ve taken the FM/a test, be interesting to see this one. When Medicare covers it, I’ll take as it provides no actionable info right now for $600.

Thanks for posting, Donna.