Brachioradial pruritus: cervical spine disease and neurogenic/neuropathic pruritus

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Aged; *Cervical Vertebrae; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Pruritus; Retrospective Studies; Spinal Diseases


Dermatology | Musculoskeletal Diseases | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases


BACKGROUND: The main cause of brachioradial pruritus (BRP) is not known but there is evidence to suggest that BRP may arise in the nervous system. Cervical spine disease may be an important contributing factor.

OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to determine whether spine pathology is associated with BRP. METHODS: Medical charts of patients with BRP seen in the Division of Dermatology of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center between the years of 1993 and 2000 were retrospectively analyzed. On the basis of clinical index of suspicion, some patients had undergone radiography of the spine.

RESULTS: Of 22 patients with BRP, 11 had cervical spine radiographs. The radiographs showed cervical nnspine disease that could be correlated with the location of pruritus in each of these 11 patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with BRP may have underlying cervical spine pathology. Whether this association is causal or coincidental remains to be determined.

DOI of Published Version



J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 Apr;48(4):521-4. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology


Publisher's correction: The title as printed ("Brachioradial pruritus: Cervical spine disease and neurogenic/neurogenic pruritus") was incorrect; the correct title is “Brachioradial pruritus: Cervical spine disease and neurogenic/neuropathic itch.” The listing in the table of contents was also incorrect. We regret the error.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID