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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 Jan 2020 - 31 Jan 2020

Human Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development


2020 01 23

Sci Rep



Efficacy of pregabalin for the treatment of chronic pruritus of unknown origin, assessed based on electric current perception threshold.



Chronic pruritus of unknown origin (CPUO) is defined as itching lasting more than 6 weeks in the absence of discernible skin lesions. Pregabalin is used to treat patients with CPUO. In this study, we aimed to investigate differences in the perception threshold of itch sensation between patients with CPUO and healthy individuals and to evaluate the efficacy of pregabalin for CPUO. At baseline, week 2, and week 4 after treatment initiation, the visual analogue scale (VAS) score was measured to assess pruritus severity, and electric current perception threshold (CPT) was measured at 250 and 5 Hz using a NEUROMETER CPT/C stimulator. Twenty healthy individuals and 41 patients with CPUO were enrolled in this study. The patients with CPUO were categorised as those who responded to antihistamines (Antihistamine group), were not improved by antihistamines (Pregabalin group), and were not improved by antihistamines and pregabalin (Refractory group). The baseline CPT values were not significantly different between patients with CPUO and healthy control. Pruritus was improved in 7 of 10 patients in the Pregabalin group after treatment with pregabalin, showing decreased CPT at 5 Hz. The sensitive C-fibres presented a high threshold to detect itch sensation, and this sensitivity decreased in response to treatment with pregabalin.