Background: The neuroselective transcutaneous electrical stimulator (NTES) can provoke itch and/or pain by the application of a 5-Hz alternating current. Objective: We sought to examine whether there is any difference in the perception of the stimulus evoked by the NTES between patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) and healthy control subjects. Methods: In all, 24 healthy control subjects and 24 patients with AD (nonlesional skin) were stimulated on 7 body sites using the NTES. Qualitative differences in the evoked perceptions and quantitative differences in the current intensity required to evoke perception were statistically analyzed. Results: The NTES preferentially evoked itch in patients with AD. The current perception threshold was statistically lower in AD than in healthy control subjects on 3 body sites. Limitations: Tests were performed on limited body areas. Conclusion: We demonstrated that the NTES can reveal neuronal sensitization to itch in nonlesional atopic skin.
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