Chinese herbal medicine for endometriosis.

colorful spices

Complementary Medicine Research Unit , Dept Primary Medical Care, Southampton University, Norlington Gate Farmhouse, Norlington Lane, Ringmer, Sussex, UK, BN8 5SG.
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Endometriosis is characterized by the presence of tissue that is morphologically and biologically similar to normal endometrium in locations outside the uterus. Surgical and hormonal treatment of endometriosis have unpleasant side effects and high rates of relapse. In China, treatment of endometriosis using Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) is routine and considerable research into the role of CHM in alleviating pain, promoting fertility, and preventing relapse has taken place.
OBJECTIVES: To review the effectiveness and safety of CHM in alleviating endometriosis-related pain and infertility.
SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group Trials Register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library) and the following English language electronic databases (from their inception to the present): MEDLINE, EMBASE, AMED, CINAHL, NLH on the 30/04/09.We also searched Chinese language electronic databases: Chinese Biomedical Literature Database (CBM), China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Chinese Sci & Tech Journals (VIP), Traditional Chinese Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (TCMLARS), and Chinese Medical Current Contents (CMCC).
SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) involving CHM versus placebo, biomedical treatment, another CHM intervention, or CHM plus biomedical treatment versus biomedical treatment were selected. Only trials with confirmed randomisation procedures and laparoscopic diagnosis of endometriosis were included.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Risk of bias assessment, and data extraction and analysis were performed independently by three review authors. Data were combined for meta-analysis using relative risk (RR) for dichotomous data. A fixed-effect statistical model was used, where appropriate. Data not suitable for meta-analysis are presented as descriptive data.
MAIN RESULTS: Two Chinese RCTs involving 158 women were included in this review. Both these trials described adequate methodology. Neither trial compared CHM with placebo treatment.There was no evidence of a significant difference in rates of symptomatic relief between CHM and gestrinone administered subsequent to laparoscopic surgery (95.65% versus 93.87%; risk ratio (RR) 1.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.93 to 1.12, one RCT). The intention-to-treat analysis also showed no significant difference between the groups (RR 1.04, 95% CI 0.91 to 1.18). There was no significant difference between the CHM and gestrinone groups with regard to the total pregnancy rate (69.6% versus 59.1%; RR 1.18, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.59, one RCT).CHM administered orally and then in conjunction with a herbal enema resulted in a greater proportion of women obtaining symptomatic relief than with danazol (RR 5.06, 95% CI 1.28 to 20.05; RR 5.63, 95% CI 1.47 to 21.54, respectively).Overall, 100% of women in all the groups showed some improvement in their symptoms.Oral plus enema administration of CHM showed a greater reduction in average dysmenorrhoea pain scores than did danazol (mean difference (MD) -2.90, 95% CI -4.55 to -1.25; P < 0.01).Combined oral and enema administration of CHM showed a greater improvement, measured as the disappearance or shrinkage of adnexal masses, than with danazol (RR 1.70, 95% CI 1.04 to 2.78). For lumbosacral pain, rectal discomfort, or vaginal nodules tenderness, there was no significant difference either between CHM and danazol.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Post-surgical administration of CHM may have comparable benefits to gestrinone but with fewer side effects. Oral CHM may have a better overall treatment effect than danazol; it may be more effective in relieving dysmenorrhea and shrinking adnexal masses when used in conjunction with a CHM enema. However, more rigorous research is required to accurately assess the potential role of CHM in treating endometriosis.
PMID: 19588398 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

5. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Oct 17;(4):CD005288.
Chinese herbal medicine for primary dysmenorrhoea.
Chinese Medicine Program, University of Western Sydney, Center for Complementary Medicine Research, Bldg 3, Bankstown Campus, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2750. x.zhu@uws.edu.au



Abstract
BACKGROUND: Conventional treatment for primary dysmenorrhoea (PD) has a failure rate of 20% to 25% and may be contraindicated or not tolerated by some women. Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) may be a suitable alternative.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the efficacy and safety of CHM for PD when compared with placebo, no treatment, and other treatment.
SEARCH STRATEGY: The Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group Trials Register (to 2006), MEDLINE (1950 to January 2007), EMBASE (1980 to January 2007), CINAHL (1982 to January 2007), AMED (1985 to January 2007), CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library issue 4, 2006), China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI, 1990 to January 2007), Traditional Chinese Medicine Database System (TCMDS, 1990 to Dec 2006), and the Chinese BioMedicine Database (CBM, 1990 to Dec 2006) were searched. Citation lists of included trials were also reviewed.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Any randomised controlled trials (RCTs) involving CHM versus placebo, no treatment, conventional therapy, heat compression, another type of CHM, acupuncture or massage. Exclusion criteria were identifiable pelvic pathology and dysmenorrhoea resulting from the use of an intra-uterine contraceptive device (IUD).
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Quality assessment, data extraction and data translation were performed independently by two review authors. Attempts were made to contact study authors for additional information and data. Data were combined for meta-analysis using either Peto odds ratios or relative risk (RR) for dichotomous data or weighted mean difference for continuous data. A fixed-effect statistical model was used, where suitable. If data were not suitable for meta-analysis, any available data from the trial were extracted and presented as descriptive data.
MAIN RESULTS: Thirty-nine RCTs involving a total of 3475 women were included in the review. A number of the trials were of small sample size and poor methodological quality. Results for CHM compared to placebo were unclear as data could not be combined (3 RCTs). CHM resulted in significant improvements in pain relief (14 RCTs; RR 1.99, 95% CI 1.52 to 2.60), overall symptoms (6 RCTs; RR 2.17, 95% CI 1.73 to 2.73) and use of additional medication (2 RCTs; RR 1.58, 95% CI 1.30 to 1.93) when compared to use of pharmaceutical drugs. Self-designed CHM resulted in significant improvements in pain relief (18 RCTs; RR 2.06, 95% CI 1.80 to 2.36), overall symptoms (14 RCTs; RR 1.99, 95% CI 1.65 to 2.40) and use of additional medication (5 RCTs; RR 1.58, 95% CI 1.34 to 1.87) after up to three months follow up when compared to commonly used Chinese herbal health products. CHM also resulted in better pain relief than acupuncture (2 RCTs; RR 1.75, 95% CI 1.09 to 2.82) and heat compression (1 RCT; RR 2.08, 95% CI 2.06 to 499.18).
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The review found promising evidence supporting the use of CHM for primary dysmenorrhoea; however, results are limited by the poor methodological quality of the included trials.
PMID: 17943847 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


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