[Hemodialysis-related pruritus. A study of 134 Moroccans ].Nephrologie 2003; 24(3):127-31N
The prevalence of pruritus varies from 60% to 90% in patients receiving hemodialysis. The aim to this study was to evaluate the frequency of pruritus and its characteristics among moroccan patients receiving hemodialysis. Pruritus related to primary skin disease or other identified cause than chronic renal failure was excluded. Biological parameters were compared between patients with pruritus and those without. Pruritus occurred in 74.4% of hemodialysis patients and concerned 66 men and 68 women, mean age 44.8 + 14 years. Duration of hemodialysis varied between 5 months to 10 years. Main characteristics of pruritus were a general pattern in 70%, moderate intensity in 50%, appearance after dialysis in 81.2% and severe psychologic repercussion in 20.8%. Antihistamines first-line treatment was rarely effective. UVB radiation used in 7 cases leaded to a marked improvement. This study underlined the high frequency of pruritus in moroccan patients with chronic renal failure on maintenance hemodialysis. Hemodialysis can initiate this symptom as well as improve it. Biological parameters were not different between patients with or without pruritus. It also pointed out on therapeutic challenges. However, UVB radiation seems to be an effective therapy in intractable itching as well as increased frequency of weekly courses of hemodialysis. Long term skin hydratation should be also highly recommended.