Acupuncture/ pressureKidney Disease

Another review of acupuncture to treat uremic pruritus

Uremic pruritus (itchiness) is a common, bothersome symptom in people with end-stage kidney disease that doesn’t always respond to conventional care.

Researchers at the Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, in Daejeon, reviewed the evidence for acupuncture.

First, the details.

  • 6 studies were included in the review.

And, the results.

  • All of the studies reported beneficial effects of acupuncture.
  • However, most of the studies showed high risk of bias due to poor study design, which leaves their reports unconvincing.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Current evidence is insufficient to show that acupuncture is an effective treatment for uremic pruritus in patients with end-stage kidney disease because of suboptimal quality and lack of methodological rigor of included studies.”

Others have come to the same conclusion.

It’s the same old story. The real bottom line is don’t bother doing a study if you’re not going to pay attention to the details. In the end, your findings will be useless.

8/8/11 21:39 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.