Review investigates the effects of Chinese herbal baths as treatments for uremic pruritus
Researchers from the Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine in China conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Chinese herbal bath therapy (CHBT) as a treatment for uremic pruritus (UP). The results of their study were published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
- Traditionally, CHBT is used as an external therapy to treat UP — the most common symptom of chronic renal failure.
- For their study, the researchers searched seven databases for studies published since database inception until September 2018. They collected randomized trials that evaluated the use of CHBT for UP.
- Measurement of the therapeutic effects of CHBT was based on pruritus level (via the visual analog scale [VAS] or symptom score scale) and the total effective rate.
- They used RevMan V.5.3 software to assess the data they collected and conduct the meta-analysis.
- The researchers included 17 articles involving a total of 970 hemodialysis patients in their analysis. CHBT was administered to these patients by immersing their whole bodies in a prepared herbal water bath.
- On average, herbal bath prescriptions used for the studies consisted of 11 Chinese herbs, and treatment lasted for 4.7 weeks.
- The researchers found that, compared with hemodialysis, hemoperfusion, sham CHBT, clear hot water bath, and the use of calamine lotion, CHBT plus hemodialysis/hemoperfusion reduced the VAS score and the symptom score of patients.
- CHBT plus hemodialysis/hemoperfusion also has a higher total effectiveness rate than any of the other treatments mentioned previously.
Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that CHBT is a great complementary therapy for treating UP. They hope for more rigorously designed, multi-center, prospective RCTs to help further identify the efficacy and safety of CHBT.
Read the full article at this link.
Xue W, Zhao Y, Yuan M, Zhao Z. CHINESE HERBAL BATH THERAPY FOR THE TREATMENT OF UREMIC PRURITUS: META-ANALYSIS OF RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIALS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 10 May 2019;19(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-019-2513-9