Herbal medicines for urinary stone treatment. A systematic review
AbstractObjective: To analyze the clinical evidence on the efficacy of phytotherapy in the treatment of calculi in the urinary tract. Methods: To be eligible, full-length articles should include the results of randomized controlled trials enrolling patients affected by urolithiasis, reporting any comparison between an experimental herbal agent versus placebo or any active comparator, aimed at preventing the formation or facilitating the dissolution of calculi in any portion of the urinary tract. Fifteen databases were searched for relevant references. The primary outcomes investigated were (i) the reduction of stone size and/or number and (ii) the urinary excretion rates of calcium, urate, or oxalate. The secondary outcome of the review was the adverse effects (AE) of treatment. Risk of bias (ROB) and quality of the evidence were assessed according to Cochrane and GRADE guidelines. We performed a randomeffect meta-analysis. Results: 541 articles were retrieved and 16 studies were finally confirmed as eligible. Multiple Cochrane ROB tool items were rated as having high risk of bias in each analyzed trial report. Pooled analysis of continuous data could be performed for three different comparisons: (i) phytotherapy versus citrate as single agent (ii) phytotherapy versus placebo, (iii) preparation of Didymocarpus pedicellata (DP) -combined with other herbal agents- versus placebo. Results showed that citrate is superior to phytotherapy in significantly decreasing both the size of urinary stones (mean difference: phytotherapy, 0.42 mm higher; 95% CI: 0.23 to 0.6; Z = 4.42, P < 0.0001; I2 = 30%) and the urinary excretion rate of urate (mean difference: 42.32 mg/24h higher, 95% CI: 19.44 to 65.19; Z = 3.63, P = 0.0003; I2 = 96%), assessed after 3 months on-therapy. No significant differences in the excretion rates of urinary calcium or oxalate were found. The DP preparation was superior to placebo in inducing total clearance (risk ratio: 6.19, 95% CI: 2.60 to 14.74; Z = 4.12, P < 0.0001; I2 = 0%) and size reduction (mean difference: DP preparation, 4.93 mm lower; 95% CI: -9.18 to -0.67; Z = 2.27, P = 0.02; I2 = 99%) of renal and ureteral stones after 3 months of therapy. No significant differences in the inter-arm variation of excretion rates of urinary calcium or urate were found as result of the pooled phytotherapy- placebo comparison. Herbal remedies were in general devoid of side effects and in few cases citrate appeared to induce GI disturbances in a higher fraction of patients. Most reports did not provide inferential data concerning AE, and meta-analysis was not feasible. Conclusions: Citrate is more effective than phytotherapy in decreasing the size of existing calculi in the urinary tract and in decreasing the urinary excretion rate of uric acid. A preparation containing Didymocarpus pedicellata combined with other herbal agents induces stone size reduction and clearance significantly better than placebo. Mayor limitations in the applicability of these results are the low quality of the evidence and the multiple sources of bias assessed in the studies included in the present review.
PlumX Metrics provide insights into the ways people interact with individual pieces of research output (articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, and many more) in the online environment. Examples include, when research is mentioned in the news or is tweeted about. Collectively known as PlumX Metrics, these metrics are divided into five categories to help make sense of the huge amounts of data involved and to enable analysis by comparing like with like.
- Abstract views: 3441
- PDF: 1552
- SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: 419
Copyright (c) 2016 Elena Monti, Alberto Trinchieri, Vittorio Magri, Anne Cleves, Gianpaolo Perletti
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.