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Cutaneous field stimulation in the treatment of severe itch

Wallengren, Joanna LU and Sundler, Frank LU (2001) In Archives of Dermatology 137(10). p.1323-1325
Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of cutaneous field stimulation of C fibers for the treatment of itchy skin and its effect on peripheral nerve fibers as shown in skin biopsy specimens. DESIGN: We conducted an open-label uncontrolled study of 19 patients with itching. Each patient applied a flexible plate containing electrodes to the itchy area for 20 minutes at a time once daily for 5 weeks to stimulate nerve fibers with a constant current (0.8 mA). Skin biopsy specimens were collected before treatment and at the end of treatment and were immunostained for calcitonin gene-related peptide and protein gene product 9.5. SETTING: University hospital in Lund, Sweden. PATIENTS: Sixteen patients with nostalgia paresthetica or brachioradial... (More)
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of cutaneous field stimulation of C fibers for the treatment of itchy skin and its effect on peripheral nerve fibers as shown in skin biopsy specimens. DESIGN: We conducted an open-label uncontrolled study of 19 patients with itching. Each patient applied a flexible plate containing electrodes to the itchy area for 20 minutes at a time once daily for 5 weeks to stimulate nerve fibers with a constant current (0.8 mA). Skin biopsy specimens were collected before treatment and at the end of treatment and were immunostained for calcitonin gene-related peptide and protein gene product 9.5. SETTING: University hospital in Lund, Sweden. PATIENTS: Sixteen patients with nostalgia paresthetica or brachioradial pruritus and 3 with generalized itch. INTERVENTIONS: Cutaneous field stimulation and punch biopsies of the itchy skin. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Visual analog scale for assessment of itching and counting the immunoreactive nerve fibers in 3-mm biopsy specimens. RESULTS: Patients with localized itching experienced a reduction in mean values on the visual analog scale (from 78% before treatment to 42% by the end of the fifth week). The number of protein gene product 9.5- immunoreactive nerve fibers in the epidermis was reduced by 40% by the end of treatment compared with baseline values. CONCLUSIONS: Cutaneous field stimulation is an effective alternative for the treatment of localized itching. The reduction in itching is accompanied by degeneration of the epidermal nerve fibers, as evidenced by the loss of protein gene product 9.5 immunoreactivity. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Archives of Dermatology
volume
137
issue
10
pages
1323 - 1325
publisher
American Medical Association
external identifiers
  • pmid:11594856
  • scopus:0034792766
ISSN
0003-987X
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ddfe5974-4ad6-4c05-a91d-012bfde1654c (old id 1120366)
alternative location
http://archderm.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/137/10/1323
date added to LUP
2008-07-17 10:33:07
date last changed
2018-07-01 04:14:18
@article{ddfe5974-4ad6-4c05-a91d-012bfde1654c,
  abstract     = {OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of cutaneous field stimulation of C fibers for the treatment of itchy skin and its effect on peripheral nerve fibers as shown in skin biopsy specimens. DESIGN: We conducted an open-label uncontrolled study of 19 patients with itching. Each patient applied a flexible plate containing electrodes to the itchy area for 20 minutes at a time once daily for 5 weeks to stimulate nerve fibers with a constant current (0.8 mA). Skin biopsy specimens were collected before treatment and at the end of treatment and were immunostained for calcitonin gene-related peptide and protein gene product 9.5. SETTING: University hospital in Lund, Sweden. PATIENTS: Sixteen patients with nostalgia paresthetica or brachioradial pruritus and 3 with generalized itch. INTERVENTIONS: Cutaneous field stimulation and punch biopsies of the itchy skin. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Visual analog scale for assessment of itching and counting the immunoreactive nerve fibers in 3-mm biopsy specimens. RESULTS: Patients with localized itching experienced a reduction in mean values on the visual analog scale (from 78% before treatment to 42% by the end of the fifth week). The number of protein gene product 9.5- immunoreactive nerve fibers in the epidermis was reduced by 40% by the end of treatment compared with baseline values. CONCLUSIONS: Cutaneous field stimulation is an effective alternative for the treatment of localized itching. The reduction in itching is accompanied by degeneration of the epidermal nerve fibers, as evidenced by the loss of protein gene product 9.5 immunoreactivity.},
  author       = {Wallengren, Joanna and Sundler, Frank},
  issn         = {0003-987X},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {10},
  pages        = {1323--1325},
  publisher    = {American Medical Association},
  series       = {Archives of Dermatology},
  title        = {Cutaneous field stimulation in the treatment of severe itch},
  volume       = {137},
  year         = {2001},
}