Clinical Findings and Provision of Care in Haemodialysis Patients with Chronic Itch: New Results from the German Epidemiological Haemodialysis Itch Study
Kinan Hayani, Melanie Weiss, Elke Weisshaar
The German Epidemiological Haemodialysis Itch Study (GEHIS) has shown that more than one-third of haemodialysis (HD) patients have chronic itch (CI). As part of GEHIS, 216 patients with current CI were offered a dermatological examination, of whom 177 were investigated. According to the clinical classification of the International Forum for the Study of Itch (IFSI), 43.5% (n = 77) of the patients examined had CI with no skin lesions (IFSI II), 37.9% (n = 67) had secondary scratch lesions (IFSI III), and 18.6% (n = 33) primarily had diseased skin (IFSI I). Severity of CI and itch-related quality of life (ItchyQoL) showed a significant association only with IFSI III. Of the patients in this study, 89.8% (n = 159) had xerosis cutis. Only 40.4% (n = 80) had ever sought medical help for CI, 46.4% (n = 32) of whom were in the category IFSI III. Only 32.4% (n = 77) had ever received any treatment for CI and [AQ1] these patients had significantly more severe CI. The current analyses demonstrate that CI is a frequently disregarded symptom in HD patients.