A case of neuropathic brachioradial pruritus caused by cervical disc herniation


Background A 64-year-old woman presented to an outpatient clinic with a 2-year history of itch, burning sensation and intermittent paresthesias within the innervation territory of the sixth cervical nerve root on the right dorsal forearm. No dermatological diseases, trauma to the affected extremity or the spine, or familial pruritus were reported.

Investigations Dermatological examination, skin biopsy, laser Doppler imaging, neurological physical examination and cervical MRI scan.

Diagnosis Brachioradial pruritus caused by cervical disc herniation.

Management Ventral spinal fusion with cage implantation.

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Figure 1: Laser Doppler images of the affected right forearm in a patient with brachioradial pruritus.
Figure 2: MRI scan of the cervical spine in a patient with brachioradial pruritus.


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A Binder, J Koroschetz, M Stengel and R Baron were supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the German Research Network on Neuropathic Pain (grant 01 EM 0504) and an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer, Germany. Charles P Vega, University of California, Irvine, CA, is the author of and is solely responsible for the content of the learning objectives, questions and answers of the Medscape-accredited continuing medical education activity associated with this article.

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Correspondence to Andreas Binder.

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Competing interests

A Binder has received honoraria from Pfizer, Allergan and Grünenthal. R Baron has acted as a consultant and received honoraria and grant support from Genzyme, Grünenthal and Pfizer, and has acted as a consultant and received honoraria from Allergan, Medtronic, Mundipharma and Sanofi Pasteur MSD. The other authors declared no competing interests.

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Binder, A., Fölster-Holst, R., Sahan, G. et al. A case of neuropathic brachioradial pruritus caused by cervical disc herniation. Nat Rev Neurol 4, 338–342 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/ncpneuro0807

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