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Blood Purif. 2019;47 Suppl 2:45-49. doi: 10.1159/000496637. Epub 2019 Apr 3.

Prevalence and Severity of Itching in Patients with End-Stage Renal Disease: Treatment with Nalfurafine Hydrochloride.

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Department of General Internal Medicine, Saitama Medical University, Saitama, Japan,
Department of General Internal Medicine, Saitama Medical University, Saitama, Japan.
Department of Nephrology, Tokorozawa Kidney Clinic, Saitama, Japan.



In this study, we investigated the severity and frequency of uremic pruritus and itch-associated insomnia in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or chronic kidney disease (CKD).


This questionnaire-based study included outpatients with ESRD or CKD who were attending Tokorozawa Renal Clinic in Saitama Prefecture or Musashi Ranzan Hospital and were stable on treatment. The questionnaire was completed by patients on hemodialysis (HD) before a dialysis session and by patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD) or conservative treatment at the time of an outpatient hospital visit.


Itching was reported by 61.6% of patients on HD, 61.5% on PD, and 43.2% on conservative CKD management. There was no statistically significant difference in the severity or frequency of itch according to whether patients were on HD for ESRD, PD for ESRD, or receiving conservative treatment for CKD. However, insomnia was significantly more common in the PD group than in the HD and conservative CKD groups.


Better skin management is needed for itch in patients with ESRD or CKD. Moisturizing and lifestyle factors are important. Topical or oral medications may also be used. Nalfurafine, a κ receptor agonist, is now available in Japan for the treatment of uremic pruritus in these patients.


Chronic kidney disease; Itch; Nalfurafine; Pruritus; Questionnaire; Survey

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