Skin problems in chronic kidney disease

Department of Nephrology and Renal Transplantation, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
Nature Clinical Practice Nephrology (Impact Factor: 6.08). 03/2009; 5(3):157-70. DOI: 10.1038/ncpneph1040
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Skin disorders associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) can markedly affect a patient's quality of life and can negatively impact their mental and physical health. Uremic pruritus, which is frequently encountered in patients with CKD, is considered to be an inflammatory systemic disease rather than a local skin disorder. Biomarkers of inflammation are increased in patients with uremic pruritus and an imbalance of the endogenous opioidergic system might be involved in the complex pathogenesis of the disease. Treatment options for uremic pruritus include emollients, topical capsaicin cream, ultraviolet B phototherapy, gabapentin, oral activated charcoal and nalfurafine, a kappa-opioid-receptor agonist. Calcific uremic arteriolopathy is triggered by an imbalance of promoters and inhibitors of vascular calcification, caused by the inflammatory changes that occur in uremia. Promising therapeutic strategies for calcific uremic arteriolopathy include bisphosphonates and intravenous sodium thiosulfate. Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is a devastating condition associated with the use of gadolinium-based contrast agents in patients with CKD. At present, no therapies are available for this complication. Preventive measures include use of iodine-based contrast agents, particularly in patients with CKD stage 4 and 5. If gadolinium contrast is necessary, administration of low volumes of the more stable macrocyclic ionic types of gadolinium-based contrast agent is advocated. Hemodialysis following gadolinium exposure might offer benefits but evidence is lacking.

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