Role of Interleukin-2 in Uremic Pruritus Among Attendants of AL-Zahraa Hospital Dialysis Unit

Amira Adel Abdel Azim, Asmaa Saied Farag, Doaa Abd El-Maleek Hassan, Safaa Mahmoud Ismail Abdu, Somaya Mohamed Abo-Elfetouh Lashin, Nahla Mohamed Abdelaziz
Indian Journal of Dermatology 2015, 60 (2): 211

BACKGROUND: Uremic pruritus (UP) is a very distressing symptom and remains one of the most frustrating and potentially disabling symptoms in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Its etiopathogenesis remains unclear and complex. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible role of interleukin-2 (IL-2) in UP, and correlate its level with the severity of itching in ESRD patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: This study was carried out on 60 patients on maintenance hemodialysis (HD), 30 patients with UP and 30 patients without UP, and 30 apparently healthy age- and sex-matched subjects as controls. Itch intensity was scored as mild, moderate, and severe using five-dimensional itch scale. Some relevant clinical parameters (age, sex, xerosis, presence of neuropathy, duration of dialysis, complete medical history, and history of pruritic skin diseases) and laboratory findings including creatinine, urea, calcium, phosphorus, parathyroid hormone, and serum levels of IL-2 were evaluated.

RESULTS: In our study, we found a statistically significant difference in IL-2 level between patients and controls. However, there was no statistically significant difference in IL-2 levels between cases with pruritus and cases without pruritus. Also, there was a statistically significant relation between IL-2 level and duration of the disease.

CONCLUSION: Further studies are needed to understand the contribution of IL-2 and possibly other cytokines in the pathogenesis of this distressing symptom in ESRD.

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