Brachioradial pruritus: A symptom of neuropathy

Arnon D. Cohen, Rafik Masalha, Evgeny Medvedovsky, Daniel A. Vardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Background: Brachioradial pruritus (BRP) is a localized pruritus of the dorsolateral aspect of the arm. BRP is an enigmatic condition with a controversial cause; some authors consider BRP to be a photodermatosis whereas other authors attribute BRP to compression of cervical nerve roots. Objective: We sought to investigate the presence of neuropathy in patients with BRP. Methods: We performed electrophysiologic studies of the median, ulnar, and radial nerves in consecutive patients with BRP, including measurement of sensory and motor distal latency, conduction velocity and F responses of the median and ulnar nerves, and sensory distal latency of the radial nerves in both upper limbs. Results: Included in the study were 7 patients, 5 men and 2 women, with an average age of 58.3 years (range: 42-72 years). Of the patients, 4 (57%) had abnormal F responses that were diagnostic for cervical radiculopathy, and 3 of these patients had prolonged distal latencies of the nerves tested, which may be interpreted as sensory motor neuropathy secondary to chronic radiculopathy. The fourth patient had polyneuropathy secondary to diabetes mellitus. Conclusion: BRP may be attributed to a neuropathy, such as chronic cervical radiculopathy. The possibility of an underlying neuropathy should be considered in the evaluation and treatment of all patients with BRP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-828
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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