Acupuncture for Chronic Prostatitis or Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is a complex male dysfunction, mostly seen in young and middle-aged men with a history of more than 3 months. As a traditional therapy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture has been proven an effective method to treat CP/CPPS in recent years. Though some meta-analyses on acupuncture for chronic prostatitis were published in 2018 and 2019, most of the included studies were low in quality according to the JADAD score (JADAD < 4). The conclusions of acupuncture for CP/CPPS remain indefinite.

This review aims to evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture for CP/CPPS by including high-quality literature only (JADAD ≥ 4) to provide a reliable basis for clinical applications and research.

Nine electronic databases were searched from inception to March 1, 2022, and only randomized controlled trials (RCT) with high-quality (JADAD ≥ 4) were included. Data were analyzed using Review Manager 5.3. and was verified through trial sequential analysis (TSA). We carried out a sensitivity analysis for the heterogeneity (I 2 ≥ 50%). Publication bias was explored using a funnel plot.

Ten RCTs (11 trials) of high-quality methodology involving 798 patients were included. Meta-analysis showed that compared to sham acupuncture (SAT) and western medicine (WM), acupuncture (AT) played superior roles for CP/CPPS patients in pain score, NIH-CPSI score, quality of life score, urinary symptom, and efficacy rate. As for the adverse effects, 4 RCTs described mild hematoma and pain in AT and SAT groups, while specific symptoms including nausea, abdominal pain, dizziness, and low blood pressure were reported in WM groups.

This meta-analysis indicated that acupuncture has measurable benefits on CP/CPPS, and security has also been ensured. However, this meta-analysis only included 10 RCTs; thus, RCTs with a larger sample size and longer-term observation are required to verify the effectiveness of acupuncture further in the future.

Pain research & management. 2023 Mar 14*** epublish ***

Juanhong Pan, Song Jin, Quan Xie, Ying Wang, Zhipeng Wu, Jianfeng Sun, Tai Pin Guo, Di Zhang

School of Health Preservation and Rehabilitation, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan, China., Rehabilitation Department, Hospital of Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan, China., School of Medical and Life Sciences, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan, China., Acupuncture, Tuina and Rehabilitation School of the Yunnan University of Chinese Medicine, Kunming, Yunnan, China.