Etiopathogenesis of chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus: putting the pieces of the puzzle together
Defined as the unpleasant sensation that causes the desire to scratch, pruritus is the most common skin symptom associated with uremia and appears in almost half of patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). Beyond its direct impact on quality of life, CKD-associated pruritus (CKD-aP) is an independent predictor of mortality that also has a synergistic effect with other quality of life-related symptoms, such as insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Although different mechanisms have been proposed to explain the origin of Pa-ERC, its etiopathogenesis is still not fully understood. Since new therapeutic targets have been identified and several clinical trials have recently shown promising results, our current understanding of the interrelationships has expanded significantly and the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying CKD-aP are now considered to be multifactorial. The potential triggers of pruritus in patients with CKD are discussed in this review, including hypotheses about skin xerosis, accumulation of uremic toxins, dysregulation of the immune system and systemic inflammation, uremic neuropathy, and imbalances in the endogenous opioid system. Other non-uremic causes of pruritus are also discussed, with the aim of guiding the physicians to apply an adequate aetiopathogenic approach to CKD-aP in their day-to-day clinical practice.
Dialysis; Pruritus; Renal Insufficiency, Chronic
Molina P, Ojeda R, Blanco A, Alcalde G, Prieto-Velasco M, Aresté N, Esteve Simó V, et al. Etiopathogenesis of chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus: putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Nefrologia (Engl Ed). 2023 Jan-Feb;43(1):48-62.
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