Hemodialysis-related pruritus and associated cutaneous manifestations.Int J Dermatol 2006; 45(6):664-7IJ
Uremic pruritus is one of the most common disabling problems in patients with chronic renal failure. Few studies have evaluated itching and cutaneous manifestations in hemodialysis-dependent patients.
The aim of this prospective study was to identify the prevalence of pruritus and cutaneous changes affecting patients undergoing hemodialysis.
The degree of itching in 70 patients treated at the Haemek Medical Center Hemodialysis Unit, in northern Israel, was scored according to presence and severity. We examined the relationship between the quality of dialysis and the frequency of pruritus, and identified concurrent cutaneous disorders.
Pruritus was a common problem in the study cohort and affected 74.3% of hemodialysis patients at some point. The main characteristics of pruritus were a general pattern in 65.7% and mild intensity in 78.3% of observed patients. Duration of hemodialysis varied between 3 months and 13 years. There was no correlation between occurrence of pruritus and demographic or medical parameters (sex, type of kidney disease, regular medications or duration of hemodialysis) of the patients. Higher dialysis efficacy, as expressed by dialyser clearance, volume distribution of area, dialysis duration (Kt/v), may reduce the prevalence of pruritus (P < 0.02). None of the blood and chemical values considered (hemoglobin, creatinine, urea, phosphorus, calcium, albumin, parathormone and alkaline phosphatase) revealed any statistically relevant differences between pruritus groups. The appearance of foot ulcers was different between diabetic and nondiabetic individuals undergoing hemodialysis (P < 0.001).
Pruritus is still a common problem in hemodialysis-dependent patients. The prevalence of xerosis and excoriations was high in patients undergoing replacement therapy. Efficient replacement hemodialysis may provide a clinical benefit.