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Mult Scler. 2013 Apr;19(4):475-9. doi: 10.1177/1352458512457720. Epub 2012 Aug 30.

Neuropathic pruritus (itch) in neuromyelitis optica.

Author information

1
The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Neuropathic pruritus (itch) is an uncommon, but well described, symptom in neurology. There are itch-specific neurons in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. We noted excessive pruritus in patients with neuromyelitis optica (NMO).

OBJECTIVE:

We aimed to explore the characteristics of pruritus in NMO patients.

METHODS:

We reviewed case records of a well-defined cohort of 45 serial aquaporin-4 antibody-positive patients visiting the national NMO service. All patients were interviewed.

RESULTS:

Of the 45 antibody-positive NMO patients, 44 had myelitis and 12 of those 44 (27.3%) patients reported pruritus within a week of other symptoms of transverse myelitis with central cord involvement. In three patients, pruritus was the first symptom of a relapse, while in one case, pruritus was the very first symptom of the index episode of NMO.

CONCLUSION:

Neuropathic pruritus seems to be a common, but under-recognised symptom of myelitis associated with NMO.

PMID:
22936333
DOI:
10.1177/1352458512457720
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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