The efficacy of acupuncture in managing patients with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: A systemic review and meta-analysis

Neurourol Urodyn. 2017 Feb;36(2):474-481. doi: 10.1002/nau.22958. Epub 2016 Jan 6.


Objectives: This study aimed to systemically review published randomized control trials that compared the efficacy of acupuncture with sham acupuncture or standard medical treatment as management for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS).

Methods: A systemic search of the PubMED®, Embase, Airiti Library, and China Journal Net was done for all randomized controlled trials that compared the efficacy of acupuncture with sham acupuncture, alpha-blockers, antibiotics, or anti-inflammatory drugs in patients with CP/CPPS. Two investigators conducted the literature search, quality assessment, and data extraction. The data were then analyzed using the Cochrane Collaboration Review Manager (RevMan®, version 5.3). The study endpoints were response rate, the National Institute of Health-Chronic Prostatitis Index (NIH-CPSI), and the International Prostate symptom score (IPSS) reduction.

Results: Three and four randomized controlled trials compared acupuncture with sham acupuncture (n = 101 vs. 103) and medical treatment (n = 156 vs. 138), respectively. The results revealed that acupuncture was superior to sham acupuncture as regards response rate (OR: 5.15, 95%CI: 2.72-9.75; P < 0.01), NIH-CPSI (WMD: -6.09, 95%CI: -7.85 to -4.33), and IPSS (WMD: -2.44, 95%CI: -4.86 to -0.03; P = 0.05) reductions, therefore, excluding the placebo effect. Compared to standard medical treatments, acupuncture had a significantly higher response rate (OR: 3.57, 95%CI: 1.78-7.15; P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Acupuncture has promising efficacy for patients with CP/CPPS. Compared to standard medical treatment, it has better efficacy. Thus, it may also serve as a standard treatment option when available. Neurourol. Urodynam. 36:474-481, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: acupuncture; chronic pelvic pain syndrome; chronic prostatitis; meta-analysis; prostate pain syndrome; review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Chronic Pain / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pelvic Pain / therapy*
  • Prostatitis / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome