Tripterygium preparations for the treatment of CKD: A systematic review and meta-analysis

B Zhu, Ying Wang, Meg Jardine, Min Jun, Jicheng Lv, Alan Cass, Thaminda Liyanage, Hong-Yu Chen, Wang Yong-jun, Vlado Perkovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Preparations of the herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F are used widely for the treatment of chronic kidney disease in China. The efficacy and safety of Tripterygium preparations still have not been fully identified.

 Systematic review and meta-analysis.

 Patients with chronic kidney disease.

SELECTION CRITERIA FOR STUDIES: Randomized controlled trials.

INTERVENTION: Tripterygium preparations (Tripterygium glycoside tablets, Tripterygium hypoglaucum Hutch tablets, and Tripterygium granules or extracts) versus placebo, standard care, or other immunosuppressive treatment.

 Weighted mean difference and summary estimates of relative risk (RR) reductions with 95% CIs were calculated with a random-effects model. Outcomes analyzed included change in proteinuria, serum creatinine level, and creatinine clearance rate, as well as remission and relapse rate and drug-related adverse events.

 We identified 75 trials that included 4,386 participants. Overall, Tripterygium therapy reduced proteinuria by protein excretion of 628 (95% CI, -736 to -521) mg/d and reduced serum creatinine level by 0.12 (95% CI, -0.17 to -0.06) mg/dL compared with controls (both P < 0.001) in a range of kidney conditions. Tripterygium preparations also increased the rate of complete remission by 56% (95% CI, 32%-85%; P < 0.001) and of complete or partial remission by 24% (95% CI, 17%-31%; P < 0.001) while reducing relapse by 58% (95% CI, 42%-69%; P < 0.001). Tripterygium preparations increased the rate of liver function test result abnormalities (RR, 4.03; 95% CI, 2.24-7.25; P < 0.001) and altered menstruation (RR, 5.29; 95% CI, 2.09-13.38; P < 0.001).

 Suboptimal study quality, significant heterogeneity in the primary outcome.

 Tripterygium preparations may have nephroprotective effects, but high-quality trials are required to reliably determine the balance of benefits and harms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-530
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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