Brachioradial pruritus as a result of cervical spine pathology: The results of a magnetic resonance tomography study

  • Marziniak M
  • Phan N
  • Raap U
 et al. 
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Background: Brachioradial pruritus (BRP) describes a rare form of itching occurring at the dorsolateral part of the forearms. Recent case reports suggest that BRP may be attributed to cervical lesions or spine neoplasms. Objective: We sought to determine the incidence of cervical spine changes in BRP and to correlate the localization of spinal lesions with the dermatomal presence of pruritus. Methods: Magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) of the cervical spinal cord, a chest x-ray, and a skin biopsy were performed in 41 patients (28 female, 13 male; 59.0 ± 10.6 years) with BRP. Patients completed an itch questionnaire (NeuroDerm Questionnaire) that included a dermatome chart and the Northwick Park Neck Pain Questionnaire. Results: The patients marked the locations C5 (90.2%) and C6 (100%) on the dermatome chart. All patients had detectable MRT changes. In 80.5% of the patients, stenosis of the intervertebral foramen or protrusions of the cervical disk led to nerve compression. The location of the nerve compression lesions correlated significantly with the dermatomal localization of the pruritus (Spearman correlation coefficient 0.893; P

Author-supplied keywords

  • cervical stenosis
  • dermatome
  • itch
  • magnetic resonance tomography
  • nerve root impingement
  • neuroforamen
  • neuropathic pruritus
  • peripheral nerve
  • sensory nerves
  • solar pruritus

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  • Martin Marziniak

  • Ngoc Quan Phan

  • Ulrike Raap

  • Dorothee Siepmann

  • Funda Schürmeyer-Horst

  • Esther Pogatzki-Zahn

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