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Treatment modalities in brachioradial pruritis: a systematic review


Introduction: Brachioradial pruritis is a rare dysesthesia syndrome that is known to negatively impact quality of life. No consensus exists regarding optimal treatment strategies. Methods: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Collaboration Clinical Trials Registry from 1966 to 2021 for studies using the title word "brachioradial pruritis" with no language restriction. One author (A.Z.) screened and performed full article reviews of all randomized clinical trials, cohort studies, case-control studies, case reports, and case series describing treatment outcomes among patients with brachioradial pruritis. Results: We identified 239 potential articles with a final set of 45 articles meeting inclusion criteria. Only a single randomized clinical trial was identified, finding no significant benefit of topical capsaicin cream. Treatment modalities with the greatest number of reported successful therapeutic trials include gabapentin and tricyclic antidepressants. In patients with confirmed cervical spine disease, spine-directed therapies such as epidural injections were found to be beneficial. Case reports and small case series describing less-common treatments were also identified. Discussion: The literature is overall limited with the greatest support for gabapentin, pregabalin, tricyclic antidepressants, and spine-directed therapies in appropriate patients with brachioradial pruritis. Future randomized clinical trials are needed to compare the relative effectiveness of available treatments.

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