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Monday, August 27, 2012

Prevalence and Severity of Pruritus and Quality of Life in Patients With Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma.

Prevalence and Severity of Pruritus and Quality of Life in Patients With Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma.

Aug 2012


St. Thomas' Hospital, Kings Healthcare Partners, London, United Kingdom.



Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), although rare, is associated with a significant symptom burden. Pruritus appears to be one of the most prominent and disturbing symptoms.


To describe the prevalence and severity of pruritus and quality of life (QOL) in patients with CTCL.


Patients with CTCL able to complete two questionnaires were invited to complete a visual analogue scale for itch (VAS(itch)) and the Skindex-29. Prevalence of pruritus, mean score, and SD were estimated for the VAS(itch) and Skindex-29, and the Pearson's correlation coefficient was calculated to evaluate the relationship between severity of pruritus and QOL.


One hundred patients were recruited (mean [SD] age 57.9 [12.9] years, range 30-86 years). Eighty-eight percent reported pruritus in the preceding four weeks, 46% indicating that it was often or always a problem. The mean (SD) of VAS(itch) (n=92) was 3.2 (3.2), range zero to 10. The mean (SD) total Skindex-29 score was 43.3 (27.7). More advanced disease stage was associated with poorer QOL. The Skindex-29 correlated strongly with the VAS(itch) (Pearson's correlation coefficient=0.72, P<0 .001=".001" b="b">


All aspects of QOL are affected in CTCL. Pruritus is a common and troublesome symptom. A more advanced disease stage and more severe pruritus symptoms were associated with poorer QOL in this study.

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