[Effect of rhubarb on inflammatory cytokines and complements in patients with systemic inflammation reaction syndrome and its significance]

Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2002 Apr;22(4):264-6.
[Article in Chinese]


Objective: To study the effect of rhubarb in treating patients with systemic inflammation reaction syndrome (SIRS) and its mechanism.

Methods: The 40 patients with SIRS in the treated group were treated with conventional treatment plus rhubarb powder orally or by nasal feeding, the 38 patients in the control group were treated with conventional treatment alone. Serum tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) was determined by ELISA during the admission and the 3rd day after admission, C-reactive protein (C-RP), complement 3 and 4 (C3, C4) were also determined by auto-scattering turbidimetric quantitative analysis. The parameters were compared between groups and with normal control group.

Results: Cure rate in the treated group was significantly higher than that in the control group accompanied with lesser occurrence of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and lower mortality. Serum TNF-alpha, C-RP, C3 and C4 in the SIRS patients were increased during admission, which were significantly higher than normal control, but these parameters would be reduced together with the alleviating of symptoms after treatment, particularly after rhubarb treatment.

Conclusion: Rhubarb could improve the prognosis of patients with SIRS, its major mechanism is that rhubarb has the antagonizing effect against inflammatory cytokines and complements.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • English Abstract
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Complement C3 / metabolism*
  • Complement C4 / metabolism
  • Cytokines / drug effects*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Pneumonia / complications
  • Pneumonia / drug therapy
  • Rheum*
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / blood
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Complement C3
  • Complement C4
  • Cytokines
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • C-Reactive Protein