A randomized double blind, placebo controlled trial of topical Tripterygium wilfordii in rheumatoid arthritis: reanalysis using logistic regression analysis

J Rheumatol. 2003 Mar;30(3):465-7.


Objective: To assess the efficacy of topical Tripterygium wilfordii (TW), a Chinese herbal therapy, in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: A 6 week randomized double blind placebo controlled study of 61 patients with RA meeting American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria was conducted in China. The primary outcome was a modified ACR-20 response rate, analyzed by logistic regression analysis.

Results: The modified ACR-20 response rate differed significantly (topical TW 58% vs placebo 20%; p = 0.002). There was an 8.1-fold (95% CI 1.9-35.4) increase in the modified ACR-20 response for the TW compared to the placebo group, adjusted for age and erythrocyte sedimentation rate.

Conclusion: Topical TW appears efficacious for the treatment of RA, but larger studies are needed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Phytotherapy
  • Placebos
  • Plant Preparations / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tripterygium*


  • Placebos
  • Plant Preparations