The delta value of oxyhemoglobin (Δ-HbO) determined by functional near-infrared spectroscopy at prefrontal cortex (PFC) and motor cortex (MC) based on primary (25 °C) and secondary (5 °C) thermal stimuli presented a larger peak latency at left MC in fibromyalgia than in controls. The difference between HbO concentration 15 s after the thermal stimuli ending and HbO concentration before the thermal stimuli onset (Δ-HbO*) at left PFC increased 47.82% in fibromyalgia and 76.66% in controls. This value had satisfactory discriminatory properties to differentiate cortical activation in fibromyalgia versus controls. A receiver operator characteristics (ROC) analysis showed the Δ-HbO* cutoffs of - 0.175 at left PFC and - 0.205 at right PFC offer sensitivity and specificity of at least 80% in screening fibromyalgia from controls. In fibromyalgia, a ROC analysis showed that these cutoffs could discriminate those with higher disability due to pain and more severe central sensitization symptoms (CSS). The ROC with the best discriminatory profile was the CSS score with the Δ-HbO* at left PFC (area under the curve = 0.82, 95% confidence interval = 0.61-100). These results indicate that cortical activation based on Δ-HbO* at left PFC might be a sensitive marker to identify fibromyalgia subjects with more severe clinical symptoms.
© 2021. The Author(s).