Abnormal resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) and brain structure have emerged as pathological hallmarks of fibromyalgia (FM). This study investigated and compared the accuracy of network rs-FC and brain structural features in identifying FM with a machine learning (ML) approach. Twenty-six FM patients and thirty healthy controls were recruited. Clinical presentation was measured by questionnaires. After MRI acquisitions, network rs-FC z-score and network-based gray matter volume matrices were exacted and preprocessed. The performance of feature selection and classification methods was measured. Correlation analyses between predictive features in final models and clinical data were performed. The combination of the recursive feature elimination (RFE) selection method and support vector machine (rs-FC data) or logistic regression (structural data), after permutation importance feature selection, showed high performance in distinguishing FM patients from pain-free controls, in which the rs-FC ML model outperformed the structural ML model (accuracy: 0.91 vs. 0.86, AUC: 0.93 vs. 0.88). The combined rs-FC and structural ML model showed the best performance (accuracy: 0.95, AUC: 0.95). Additionally, several rs-FC features in the final ML model correlated with FM’s clinical data. In conclusion, ML models based on rs-FC and brain structural MRI features could effectively differentiate FM patients from pain-free subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3002
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • brain structure
  • fibromyalgia
  • functional connectivity
  • machine learning
  • MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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