Acupuncture improves kidney function in chronic kidney disease cases

Purpose: The number of clinical reports of acupuncture therapy in chronic kidney disease is gradually increasing. This systematic review and meta-analysis aim to examine the therapeutic role of acupuncture therapy in kidney function and common symptoms in chronic kidney disease patients.

Methods: We searched Embase, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, WanFang, and WeiPu for randomized controlled trials comparing acupuncture treatment with control or placebo groups. We assessed the effect of acupuncture therapy in chronic kidney disease patients using a meta-analysis with the hartung-knapp-sidik-jonkman random effects model. In addition, we visualized keyword co-occurrence overlay visualization with the help of VOSviewer software to describe the research hotspots of acupuncture therapy and chronic kidney disease.

Results: A total of 24 studies involving 1494 participants were included. Compared to the control group, acupuncture therapy reduced serum creatinine levels (standardized mean difference [SMD]: -0.57; 95% CI -1.05 to -0.09) and relieved pruritus (SMD: -2.20; 95% CI -3.84, -0.57) in patients with chronic kidney disease, while the TSA showed that the included sample size did not exceed the required information size. The included studies did not report acupuncture-related adverse events.

Conclusions: Acupuncture is an effective and safe treatment for improving kidney function and relieving pruritic symptoms in patients with chronic kidney disease, but the very low evidence may limit this conclusion. The TSA suggests that high-quality trials are needed to validate the efficacy of acupuncture therapy.


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About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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