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Archive

Summer 2005, Vol. 13 No. 2

Hong Kong J. Dermatol. Venereol. (2005) 13, 69-73


Original Article

A study to evaluate efficacy and safety of broadband UVB in the treatment of uraemic pruritus

CM Chan 陳楚文, CY Leung 梁志仁, TY Lam 林達賢, KK Lo 盧乾剛, KL Tong 唐國隆

Abstract
Uraemic pruritus is poorly understood and treatment is often difficult. Broadband Ultraviolet B (BBUVB) therapy has been shown to be effective in controlled trials in Caucasians. A double-blind randomised controlled trial comparing BBUVB with Ultraviolet A (UVA) as control was carried out on 19 Chinese patients who had skin types III or IV. These patients suffered from uraemic pruritus not controlled with topical steroid and oral antihistamines. All patients were screened to exclude other causes of the pruritus. Ten patients received BBUVB while nine patients received UVA. One patient in the BBUVB group died of a stroke during study period and three patients from the UVA group defaulted and failed to complete the study. Pruritic symptoms measured by pruritic score and self assessment score by visual analogue scale were recorded. Fifteen patients (BBUVB N=9, UVA N=6) had completed the study. All patients of the BBUVB group and two from the UVA group showed a more than 50% reduction in pruritic score from week 0 to week 6. The response rate for patients in the BBUVB group was shown to be better and statistically significant by Fisher's Exact Test (p=0.02198) and by Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test (p<0.05). The visual analogue self assessment scale correlated well with change in the pruritic score. Treatment was well tolerated without short-term side-effects. We conclude that twice weekly BBUVB therapy for six weeks is effective in controlling uraemic pruritus.