Itch and Ache on Dialysis: New Approaches to Manage Uremic Pruritus and Restless Legs. Academic Article Review uri icon


  • Uremic pruritus (UP) and restless legs syndrome (RLS) are highly prevalent complaints among patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) undergoing chronic dialysis. These chronic troublesome symptoms lead to a significant decrease in quality of life (QOL) and increase in mortality rate. Despite their distressing characteristics, these symptoms usually remain under-recognized by healthcare providers. Therefore, careful history intake, and stepwise treatment are essential. Numerous pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments have been demonstrated to help in controlling these 2 conditions.In this review, we discuss the latest findings regarding UP and RLS among ESRD patients on maintenance dialysis. We also examine different treatment options in this group of patients. The majority of these patients do not have the opportunity to receive a kidney transplant and need other treatments for these burdensome symptoms in order to improve their QOL and prognosis. Key Messages: UP and RLS are common but underdiagnosed conditions in ESRD patients on maintenance dialysis that are related to a decline in patients' QOL and poor prognosis. The pathophysiology of these conditions remains not well understood. Therefore, controversies still exist on treatment options. Treating these conditions provides an opportunity to improve the health-related QOL and outcomes of dialysis patients.© 2019 S. Karger AG, Basel.

publication date

  • January 1, 2020