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Abstract: SA-PO463

Impact of CKD-Associated Pruritus Relief on Mood and Emotional Distress

Session Information

Category: Dialysis

  • 701 Dialysis: Hemodialysis and Frequent Dialysis


  • Ständer, Sonja, Center for Chronic Pruritus, University of Münster, Münster, Germany
  • Fishbane, Steven, Northwell Health, Great Neck, New York, New York, United States
  • Schaufler, Thilo, Vifor Pharma Ltd, Glattbrugg, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Morin, Isabelle, Vifor Pharma Ltd, Glattbrugg, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Menzaghi, Frederique, Cara Therapeutics Inc, Stamford, Connecticut, United States
  • Wen, Warren, Cara Therapeutics Inc, Stamford, Connecticut, United States
  • Kalantar-Zadeh, Kamyar, University of California Irvine, Irvine, California, United States

Chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus (CKD-aP) is a frequent, unpleasant symptom and a cause of suffering in patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD). The aim of this analysis was to assess the impact of itch relief on mood and depression in patients with CKD-aP based on data from clinical trials with difelikefalin (DFK).


DFK studies enrolled HD patients with moderate-to-severe CKD-aP (mean worst itching numerical rating scale [WI-NRS] score >4 [KALM-1] or ≥5 [KALM-2 and 3105]). Patients were randomized 1:1 to intravenous DFK 0.5 µg/kg or placebo (KALM) or received open-label DFK (3105) 3 times/week for 12 weeks. The present analysis reports data from all patients completing the studies irrespective of study drug exposure; data were pooled for patients receiving DFK and placebo from the KALM trials. Change from baseline of the mood and depression sub-domain of Skindex-10 was assessed.


Skindex-10 scores were available for 549 patients in KALM and 194 patients in 3105. Patients reporting clinically relevant (≥3-point) change in itch (KALM: n=305; 3105: n=143) reported a corresponding improvement of 72% (3105) and 67% (KALM) in the mood/emotional distress domain of Skindex-10, compared with 33% and 26% for patients with <3-point improvement (KALM: n=244; 3105: n=51) in WI-NRS.


In this study we found that achieving clinically meaningful reductions in itch severity to be associated with significantly greater improvements in mood and depression, as well as in overall itch-related quality of life, for patients with CKD-aP.


  • Commercial Support – Vifor Pharma