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Papers of the Week

2020 Feb 29

Acta Derm Venereol



Patterns among Patients with Chronic Pruritus: A Retrospective Analysis of 170 Patients.


Lehmann M, Cazzaniga S, Simon D, Perruchoud D, Borradori L, Rammlmair A
Acta Derm Venereol. 2020 Feb 29; 100(4):adv00068.
PMID: 31950196.


Chronic pruritus profoundly affects patients' quality of life. The objective of this retrospective cross-sectional study was to characterize patients with chronic pruritus and identify patterns, in order to delineate a better diagnostic approach. Both semantic connectivity map and classical analysis were applied, linking demographic, clinical, laboratory and histopathological data with clinical and aetiological categories of 170 patients with chronic pruritus (median age 72 years, 58.2% women). The semantic map showed clinical categories separated in different hubs associated with distinct patterns concerning sex, aetiology, laboratory findings, and pharmacological treatment. Diabetes, diagnosis of cancer and psychiatric comorbidities were linked with certain clinical categories. Skin eosinophilia was a common finding of chronic pruritus, on both diseased and non-diseased skin. High frequencies of patients with chronic pruritus taking anti-arrhythmics, beta-blockers and AT-II antagonists were noticed among those with underlying systemic, neurological and psychiatric diseases. This study provides a complex analysis of chronic pruritus and thus basic principles for a clinical work-up.