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Currently the pathogenesis of skin lesions in chronic renal failure patients has not yet been fully elucidated. Stem cell factor is a multifunctional cytokine, which may play a crucial role in the process of complications of chronic kidney disease. Changes related to stem cell factor levels in the peripheral blood of maintenance hemodialysis patients have been rarely reported.


To investigate the changes of serum stem cell factor levels in maintenance hemodialysis patients and their relationships with uremic pruritus.


Serum levels of stem cell factors in 86 maintenance hemodialysis patients were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and compared with statistical methods. Visual analogue scale was to assess the severity of pruritus in patients with uremia. Then based on the scores, patients were divided into four groups: group A, 0 -2 scores (n=23); group B, 3 -5 scores (n=21); group C, 6 -8 scores (n=24); and group D, > 8 scores (n=18). The differences in serum stem cell factor levels among the four groups were determined by Fisher's least significant difference test. The correlation between stem cell factor levels and the severity of pruritus, blood hemoglobin and intact parathyroid hormone were analyzed by Pearson correlation analysis.


Gender, age, body mass index and blood pressure were all not statistically different among different groups (P > 0.05). With the progression of uremic pruritus, serum levels of stem cell factor in the peripheral blood increased (P < 0.05), blood hemoglobin levels gradually decreased (P < 0.05), and levels of intact parathyroid hormone increased (P < 0.05). Serum levels of stem cell factors in the peripheral blood was negatively related to blood hemoglobin (r=-0.60, P < 0.01), but positively correlated to intact parathyroid hormone (r=0.70, P < 0.01). These findings indicate that serum levels of stem cell factors in the peripheral blood may play an important role in the occurrence and development of uremic pruritus.


Funding: the Scientific Development Plan of Shandong Province, No. 2010G0020222; the Scientific Plan for Basic Research in Qingdao, No. 12-1-4-2-(12)-jch


Qiu FX, Song L, Su J, Liu XM. Relationship between serum levels of stem cell factors and uremic pruritus in maintenance hemodialysis patients. Zhongguo Zuzhi Gongcheng Yanjiu. 2014;18(19):3111-3116.

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