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Prevalence of pruritus in patients with chronic liver disease.

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eMediNexus    22 September 2017

A new study published in Hepatology Research aimed to clarify the prevalence of pruritus and its characteristics in patients with chronic liver disease. In this study, prevalence of pruritus, itch location, itch duration, daily itch fluctuation, seasonal itch exacerbation, treatment drug, and therapeutic effect was investigated in 1,631 patients with chronic liver disease, using a medical interview questionnaire. The median age of the participants was 66 years, of which 54.6% were females. The results showed that the prevalence of pruritus was 40.3%, and it was different according to the underlying liver disease. The most frequent body location for pruritus was the back (63.1%). Pruritus duration was more than 6 months in 38.3% patients. While the severity of pruritus was found to be higher in the daytime than the nighttime. On the other hand, seasonal exacerbation was observed in 45.0% patients. Although 45.7% patients were treated with antipruritic agents, 57.8% reported an insufficient effect. Further, active hepatitis B virus infection, primary biliary cholangitis, diabetes, and aspartate aminotransferase >60 U/L were independent factors associated with pruritus. From the findings, it was stated that prevalence of pruritus varies with the etiology of chronic liver disease. Underlying liver disease, aspartate aminotransferase >60 U/L, and comorbid diabetes are factors associated with pruritus in patients with chronic liver disease.

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