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November 1981

Ultraviolet A (UV-A) and Cholestatic Pruritus

Author Affiliations

Auburn, Mass

Arch Dermatol. 1981;117(11):684. doi:10.1001/archderm.1981.01650110006006

To the Editor.—  Ultraviolet B (UV-B) (290 to 320 nm) phototherapy is a well-established treatment of uremic pruritus.1-3 Several treatments result in a mean remission of three months.3 I would like to report anecdotal evidence that long-wave UV light (UV-A) may also be of benefit in the treatment of cholestatic pruritus.

Report of a Case.—  The patient was 33 years old in 1973 when, after her sixth pregnancy, she had the onset of severe pruritus, fatigue, hyperpigmentation, arthritis, and a 33.75-kg weight loss. She underwent a laparotomy. A liver biopsy specimen showed primary biliary cirrhosis. Results of a hepatitis B antigen test and an antimitochondrial antibody test were negative and positive, respectively (1:160). During the past few years, the patient's alkaline phosphatase level had ranged from 800 to 900 IU (normal, 30 to 115 IU), and her SGOT was 75 to 150 IU (normal, 7 to 40

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