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BMC Dermatology

, 5:7

First Online: 24 June 2005Received: 31 October 2004Accepted: 24 June 2005


BackgroundPruritus is one of the most bothersome symptoms in patients on maintenance hemodialysis HD, however little progress is seen in our understanding of its pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of pruritus in HD patients in Tehran, Iran, and to correlate its presence and intensity with relevant clinical and laboratory parameters.

MethodsOne hundred sixty-seven patients on maintenance HD at three out-patient HD units were enrolled in the study. Itch intensity was scored as mild, moderate and severe. Some relevant clinical and laboratory parameters age, sex, xerosis, presence of neuropathy, duration of dialysis, history of atopy and laboratory findings including hematocrit, creatinine, urea, calcium, phosphorus, parathyroid hormone PTH and alkaline phosphatase were evaluated.

ResultsPruritus was found in 41.9% of patients. The intensity of itching was mild, moderate and severe, in 51.4%, 11.4% and 37.7% of patients, respectively. In 22 patients 31.4% pruritus intensified during and after dialysis. There was no significant difference in the serum levels of creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, PTH and hematocrit between patients with and without pruritus. Age, sex, xerosis, underlying renal disease, history of atopy and duration of haemodialysis were not significantly different between the two groups. However, neuropathy was significantly more common in the pruritic group 63.8% versus 42.1% pv = 0.006.

ConclusionClinical neuropathy was the only significant finding in the pruritic group in our study. This finding justifies further research on nerve function and neurotransmitters in hemodialysis patients and the introduction of new drugs targeting neuropathy.

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Autor: Maryam Akhyani - Mohammad-Reza Ganji - Nasrin Samadi - Behnaz Khamesan - Maryam Daneshpazhooh


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