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November 1985

Pruritus in Hepatic Cholestasis: Pathogenesis and Therapy

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology (Drs Garden and Roenigk) and Medicine, Gastroenterology Section (Dr Ostrow), Northwestern University Medical School, and Veterans Administration Lakeside Medical Center (Drs Garden, Ostrow, and Roenigk), Chicago.

Arch Dermatol. 1985;121(11):1415-1420. doi:10.1001/archderm.1985.01660110063017

• Pruritus associated with hepatic cholestasis may cause significant morbidity. Current evidence indicates that bile acids may not be the pruritogenic factor. Rather, the factor may be some other cholephilic anion or anions that bind to cholestyramine resin and are photolabile. Effective treatment modalities used currently include cholestyramine resin and phenobarbital. Phototherapy is a promising modality in which the mechanism and most effective wavelengths remain to be elucidated. Analysis of the possible role of non-steady state bile acid compartmentalization in the pathogenesis of pruritus is presented.

(Arch Dermatol 1985;121:1415-1420)