Pruritus Secondary to Primary Biliary Cholangitis

A Review of the Pathophysiology and Management With Phototherapy

A.B. Hussain; R. Samuel; V.S. Hegade; D.E. Jones; N.J. Reynolds


The British Journal of Dermatology. 2019;181(6):1138-1145. 

In This Article


Phototherapy has a role in improving pruritus in patients with cholestatic liver disease. Despite being reported as a safe and effective treatment, it is often reserved for patients with itch refractory to other treatment options. The mechanism of action is not yet fully understood; however, here we have hypothesized several testable mechanisms through which phototherapy may exert its effects. The next steps will be to assess objectively the efficacy of phototherapy in cholestatic pruritus, gain further knowledge on the underlying pathways, and subsequently trial its use against current licensed therapies.