Notalgia Paraesthetica: A Descriptive Two-cohort Study of 65 Patients from Brazil and Germany
Timo Huesmann, Paulo R. Cunha, Nani Osada, Mario Huesmann, Tiago P. Zanelato, Ngoc Quan Phan, Gabriela M. Abreu Gontijo, Martin Marziniak, Sonja Ständer
Notalgia paraesthetica is a neuropathic pruritus on the back. The aim of this retrospective study was to examine patient characteristics in a consecutive cohort from Brazil and Germany. A total of 65 patients (49 women, 16 men; age range 25–80 years, mean 56.2 ± 12.7 years; median 57.0 years) were investigated in order to determine the spinal or peripheral origin of notalgia paraesthetica. Protein gene product 9.5-positive intraepidermal nerve fibers were significantly reduced in the pruritic compared with the non-lesional area (p < 0.05). In 32.3% of patients, radiological examinations showed a stenosis and in 47.7% a degeneration. A correlation between the radiological findings and the exact dermatomal localization of notalgia paraesthetica was found in 15.7% of the involved areas. The significant reduction in intraepidermal nerve fiber density suggests that damage to the peripheral nerves is a more important aetiological factor than spinal changes in notalgia paraesthetica.