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Papers of the Week

2022 Sep 02

Medicine (Baltimore)



The relative frequency of pruritus in postherpetic neuralgia patients presenting to the pain clinic and associative factors.


Park C H, John H, Lee J, Hong S W, Kim M J, Park S, Kim J H
Medicine (Baltimore). 2022 Sep 02; 101(35):e30208.
PMID: 36107606.


Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is the most common complication of herpes zoster, whereas postherpetic pruritus (PHP) a rare one. Although PHN has been extensively studied, few studies have investigated PHP. The purpose of this study was to investigate PHP incidence and associated factors in patients with PHN. This was a retrospective study of patients with PHN. A total of 645 patients were included. This study conducted in a single university hospital. Data included age, sex, height, weight, pain score, PHN site, medications, nerve blocks, and pulsed radiofrequency treatment. Data also included PHP onset and duration among those with PHP. We divided patients into 2 groups: the control group (group C), comprising those without PHP, and pruritus group (group P), comprising those with PHP. The correlation of PHP with other factors was analyzed. Of 207 patients, 58 were in group P whereas 149 in group C. The mean onset time and duration of PHP were 96.5 and 278.6 days, respectively. Pain scores were lower in group P than in group C after 3 and 4 months following vesicle formation. Patients with PHN in the trigeminal nerve had a higher incidence of PHP compared to those with PHN in others. Twenty-eight percent of patients with PHN developed PHP. At 3 and 4 months after vesicle formation, patients with PHP had greater pain improvement compared to those without. Patients with PHN in the trigeminal nerve also had a higher incidence of PHP compared to others.