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Intern Med. 2010;49(19):2049-55. Epub 2010 Oct 1.

Meta-analysis of Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F in the immunosuppressive treatment of IgA nephropathy.

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Division of Nephrology, Kidney Institute and Key Lab of Chinese People's Liberaton Army (PLA), General Hospital of Chinese PLA, Postgraduate Medical College of Chinese PLA, Beijing, PR China.



Numerous Chinese patients with IgA nephropathy (IgAN) have benefited from Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TwHF) from two decades ago. However, to date there is no systematic evaluation of this remedy for IgAN.


We conducted a meta-analysis of all eligible randomized clinical trials (RCTs) to assess the effect of TwHF on IgAN for the first time. In August 2009 a systematic search was performed among eight electronic databases. Review Manager (RevMan) version 5.0 was used.


(i) Four eligible RCTs with 188 participants were included; (ii) The validities of included RCTs were generally acceptable; (iii) TwHF brought about a favorable increase in complete remission (CR) (RR 1.53, 95%CI 1.09 to 2.16, I(2)=12%) and total remission (TR) (RR 1.27, 95%CI 1.08 to 1.48, I(2)=0%) compared with non-TwHF treatment; and this result was further confirmed by intention-to-treat analysis; (iv) Exploiting subgroup meta-analysis, TwHF led to significantly greater improvements of IgAN with non-nephrotic proteinuria with regard to the increase of CR (RR 1.80, 95%CI 1.21 to 2.68, I(2)=0%) and TR (RR 1.32, 95%CI 1.11 to 1.57, I(2)=0%), and decrease of urinary proteinuria excretion (UPE) (MD -467.41 mg/24h, 95%CI -633.99 to -300.82, I(2)=0%). Meanwhile, the renal function was well preserved (MD -2.66 ┬Ámol/L, 95%CI -9.26 to 3.94, I(2)=0%). Conclusion Although the results of this meta-analysis should be interpreted with caution and warrant further investigation, TwHF was certainly a valuable and promising immunosuppressive remedy for IgAN, which was in accordance with the accruing evidence from numerous large clinical and experimental studies.

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