Profound inhibition of chronic itch induced by stimulation of thin cutaneous nerve fibres

H-J. Nilsson, Elia Psouni, R. Carstam, J. Schouenborg

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelPeer review

27 Citeringar (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Despite the fact that severe itch is common in many dermatological diseases, the therapeutic arsenal against itching is limited. From neurophysiological experiments, using a new technique termed cutaneous field stimulation, it is known that acute itch can be effectively relieved by stimulation of cutaneous nociceptors.

METHODS: We tested the effects of cutaneous field stimulation (25 min, 16 electrodes, 4 Hz per electrode, up to 0.8 mA) on chronic itch due to atopic dermatitis. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (100 Hz, up to 26 mA) was used for comparison. In 27 patients, itch was measured just prior to, during and at regular intervals up to 12 h after either type of treatment.

RESULTS: Both treatments augmented the itch sensation during ongoing stimulation, presumably reflecting an altered sensory processing in the somatosensory pathways of chronic itch patients. However, after cessation of cutaneous field stimulation, but not transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, the itch sensation was significantly depressed for up to 7 h. The peak inhibitory effect (about 25% of control) was reached between 1 and 5 h poststimulation. Neither treatment had any significant effect on alloknesis, as measured before and 10 min after stimulation.

CONCLUSION: It is concluded that cutaneous field stimulation strongly depresses chronic itch, and is a potentially useful symptomatic treatment of itch.

Sidor (från-till)37-43
Antal sidor6
TidskriftJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
StatusPublicerad - 2004
Externt publiceradJa

Nationell ämneskategori

  • Dermatologi och venereologi (30204)
  • Medicin och hälsovetenskap (3)


Fördjupa i forskningsämnen för ”Profound inhibition of chronic itch induced by stimulation of thin cutaneous nerve fibres”. Tillsammans bildar de ett unikt fingeravtryck.

Citera det här