Published online May 21, 2017. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i19.3418
Peer-review started: January 28, 2017
First decision: March 3, 2017
Revised: March 13, 2017
Accepted: May 4, 2017
Article in press: May 4, 2017
Published online: May 21, 2017
Pruritus is a symptom found in patients with chronic liver diseases, especially cholestatic liver diseases such as primary biliary cholangitis. This symptom impairs patient quality of life by disturbing sleep and may lead to consideration of liver transplantation. Mechanisms implicated in pruritus have been associated with the peripheral and central nervous systems, leading to the development of various therapeutic options. Little evidence for the efficacy of most of these treatments is currently available, indicating a need for further investigations.
Core tip: Pruritus is a symptom influencing the quality of life in patients with chronic liver diseases especially with cholestatic liver diseases. Complex underlying mechanisms have been identified and various therapeutic options developed. More evidence is needed for these treatments, as well as improvements in their tolerability.