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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2012, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (12): 1394-1399.doi: 10.3736/jcim20121210

• Original Clinical Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of Chinese herbal medicine Qianggu Capsule on patients with rheumatoid arthritis-induced osteoporosis: a report of 82 cases

Gui-lin Ouyang, Feng Xiao-hui(), Lian-bo Xiao, Zheng Huang, Qing Xia, Da-peng Han, Fei Zhu #br#   

  1. Department of Orthopaedics, Shanghai Guanghua Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Shanghai, 200052, China
  • Received:2012-11-10 Accepted:2012-11-15 Online:2012-12-20 Published:2018-12-15

Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a kind of chronic autoimmune disease and osteoporosis is one of its complications.
Objective: To explore the effects of Qianggu Capsule, a compound traditional Chinese herbal medicine, on bone mineral density (BMD) and osteoporosis in patients with RA.
Design, setting, participants and intervention: Eighty-two patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, who were treated in Shanghai Guanghua Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine from January 2010 to December 2011, were divided into treatment group (42 cases) and control group (40 cases). The patients in the treatment group were administered with Qianggu Capsule and two disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. The patients in the control group were administered with two common-used antirheumatic drugs. The course of treatment was 6 months.
Main outcome measures: Blood levels of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), calcium, phosphorus, C-reactive protein (CRP), and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) were determined before and after the treatment. BMD in the lumbar spine, femur and the left distal radius were also examined before and after the treatment.

Results: The ALP level, a bone metabolic parameter, was significantly increased in patients of the treatment group after treatment compared with before treatment. BMD values in the lumbar spine, femur and the radius were higher after treatment than before treatment (P<0.05). There were no changes in ALP level and BMD in the patients of the control group after the treatment when compared with before treatment.

Conclusion: Treatment with Qianggu Capsule can increase BMD of RA patients, and then ameliorate their osteoporosis.

Key words: drugs,Chinese herbal, rheumatoid arthritis, bone mineral density, osteoporosis, clinical trial

Table 1

Basic condition"

Figure 1

Flow chart of this trial DMARDs: disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs."

Table 2

Bone metabolic marker and inflammatory indices in two groups"

Group n CRP (mg/L) ESR (mm/h) Blood calcium
Blood phosphorus
Before treatment 40 25.33±9.36 33.96±12.07 2.26±0.14 1.14±0.12 73.43±13.21
After treatment 40 3.65±1.73* 12.81±4.94* 2.28±0.13 1.15±0.14 72.36±12.51
Before treatment 40 23.04±10.43 31.96±1.44 2.27±0.15 1.14±0.14 76.15±11.43
After treatment 40 3.27±1.93* 14.56±6.29* 3.02±0.13*△ 1.15±0.13 96.24±12.25*△

Table 3

Bone mineral density in two groups (x±s, g/cm2)"

Group n Bone mineral density
Lumbar spine Left femur Left radius
Before treatment 40 0.80±0.08 0.73±0.02 0.60±0.05
After treatment 40 0.79±0.06 0.72±0.01 0.58±0.06
Before treatment 40 0.81±0.07 0.72±0.01 0.60±0.06
After treatment 40 1.12±0.07*△ 0.93±0.03*△ 0.84±0.04*△
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