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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2008, Vol. 6 ›› Issue (6): 569-575.doi: 10.3736/jcim20080605

• Original Clinical Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Red peony root decoction in treatment of severe acute pancreatitis: a randomized controlled trial

Min Zhang1, De-zeng Zhu1(), Zhao-shen Li2, Xian-bao Zhan2   

  1. 1. Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China
    2. Department of Gastrology, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China
  • Received:2008-01-25 Online:2008-06-20 Published:2008-06-15
  • Contact: ZHU De-zeng

Objective: To compare the therapeutic effects of red peony root decoction, a compound traditional Chinese herbal medicine, and rhubarb in treating severe acute pancreatitis (SAP).
Methods: A total of 96 consecutive patients with objectively-graded SAP were randomly divided into treatment and control groups. There were 48 cases in each group. The patients in the treatment and control groups were assigned to receive red peony root decoction and rhubarb treatment 1-2 times a day via a gastric tube respectively. Comparisons in the time needed for the disappearance of abdominal tenderness, fever and abdominal distension were made between the two groups. The total days of using antibiotics, enzyme inhibitor, protease inhibitor, and nasojejunal feeding start, nasojejunal feeding, gastrointestinal decompression, fasting diet were also compared. And comparison also included hospital stays and hospitalization costs.
Results: The durations of abdominal tenderness, fever and abdominal distension in the treatment group were less than those in the control group (P<0.05). Compared with the control group, the time length for antibiotics (including anti-bacteria drug and antifungal agent) use, nasojejunal feeding start, nasojejunal feeding, gastrointestinal decompression, fasting diet, hospital stays and hospitalization costs were decreased in the treatment group (P<0.05). There were no significant differences between the two groups in enzyme inhibitor and protease inhibitor requirement, mortality and adverse reactions.
Conclusion: Red peony root decoction is more effective than rhubarb alone for SAP patients.

Key words: acute necrotizing pancreatitis, traditional Chinese medicine therapy, integrated traditional Chinese and Western medicine, radix paeoniae rubra , rhubarb

CLC Number: 

  • R576.1

Table 1

General data of SAP patients in two groups before treatment"

Group n Age
($\bar{x}$±s, year)
Body mass
index ($\bar{x}$±s)
Acute Physiology and Chronic
Health Evaluation Ⅱ score
Ranson score
CT severity index ($\bar{x}$±s)
Control 39 52.28±12.58 24∶15 25.73±3.72 9.64±6.11 3.56±2.04 4.92±2.36
Treatment 46 55.00±15.31 34∶12 27.30±4.04 9.43±4.99 3.30±1.63 4.46±2.27

Table 2

Use of Chinese herbal medicine in two groups ($\bar{x}$±s, days)"

Group n Treatment onset for
Chinese herbal medicine
Administration time Time for coloclysis of
Chinese herbal medicine
Control 36 2.90±1.33 9.81±8.39 25.73±3.72
Treatment 39 2.69±1.55 11.25±6.13 27.30±4.04

Table 3

Other treatment requirements in two groups"

Treatment requirement Control group Treatment group P
Anti-bacteria drug use (median, days) 16.5 13.0 0.01
Nasojejunal feeding start (median, days) 9.5 10.0 0.04
Nasojejunal feeding (median, days) 9.0 7.5 0.04
Fasting diet (median, days) 16.5 14.0 0.02
Gastrointestinal decompression (median, days) 8.0 6.0 0.03
Antifungal agent use (median, days) 0.0 0.0 0.00
Somatostatin (median, days) 6.5 5.0 0.16
Octreotide (median, days) 4.0 4.0 0.12
Protease inhibitor (median, days) 11.0 12.0 0.50

Table 4

Disappearance time of physical signs and symptoms in two groups"

Disappearance time of sign and symptom Control group Treatment group P
Abdominal tenderness (median, days) 6.0 4.0 0.01
Abdominal distension (median, days) 4.0 3.0 0.01
Fever (median, days) 3.0 1.0 0.03
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