Plasma histamine concentrations were measured using a commercially available monoclonal antibody radioimmunoassay in 38 patients with nephrotic syndrome, end stage renal failure, those receiving haemodialysis, and those receiving continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis to determine whether histamine may mediate damage to glomerular capillaries and arterial endothelium. Plasma histamine concentrations were significantly increased in all four patient groups when compared with those of controls and were the highest in two patients with pruritus. Raised plasma histamine concentrations in such patients are consistent with the hypothesis that histamine may contribute to the damage to glomerular capillaries and to arterial endothelium. These effects may be relevant to the pathogenesis of glomerular disease and atherosclerosis. Histamine may also contribute to the pathogenesis of pruritus in patients with chronic renal failure.
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