International Urology and Nephrology

, Volume 48, Issue 12, pp 1977–1991 | Cite as

Effect of acupuncture on clinical symptoms and laboratory indicators for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Bu-ping LiuEmail author
  • Yun-ting Wang
  • Si-da Chen
Urology - Review



To systematically review the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS).


PubMed, Cochrane library Central, Web of Science, Wang-fang Database, and CNKI were searched from their inception to June 30, 2016. Data of acupuncture for CP/CPPS following randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was included. The data were analyzed using the Cochrane Collaboration Review Manager. The primary data were the National Institute of Health-Chronic Prostatitis Index (NIH-CPSI) score at the end of follow-up.


Ten RCTs were enrolled. Acupuncture was superior to the control in NIH-CPSI (MD −3.98, [95 % CI −5.78 to −2.19]; P < 0.0001) and response rate (RR 4.12, [95 % CI 1.67–10.18]; P = 0.002). Acupuncture was superior to sham acupuncture on NIH-CPSI, response rate, pain, urinary, and quality of life (QOL). Standard medication was inferior to acupuncture in terms of NIH-CPSI (MD −3.08, [95 % CI −5.57 to −0.60]; P = 0.02) and response rate (RR 2.03, [95 % CI 1.04–3.97]; P = 0.04), but standard medication was superior to acupuncture on improving urinary symptoms. There was no significant difference in the adverse events. Acupuncture/acupuncture plus standard medication significantly down-regulated IL-1β compared with standard medication in prostatic fluid.


Acupuncture treating CP/CPPS is effective and safe. The effects of acupuncture on NIH-CPSI, response rate, pain symptoms, and QOF were superior to the control, but standard medication significantly improved urinary symptoms compared with acupuncture. Acupuncture can decrease the IL-1β in prostatic fluid for CP/CPPS.


Acupuncture Chronic prostatitis Chronic pelvic pain syndrome Meta-analysis Review 



This work was supported by Guangdong Provincial Science and technology Foundation of China (Grant No. 2010B031600268).

Author contributions

BP Liu, YT Wang, and SD Chen contributed equally to this study; BP Liu contributed to study design, data analysis and interpretation, manuscript drafting and revision, and statistical analysis support; YT Wang contributed to literature search, data acquisition and analysis, and manuscript drafting; SD Chen contributed to data acquisition, methodology assessment of included studies, interpretation, and statistical analysis.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared that no conflict of interests exists.

Ethical statement

The present study is a meta-analysis of pooled data and systemic review of published data, the authors did not apply for ethics review committee.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Medical College of Acupuncture, Moxibustion and RehabilitationGuangzhou University of Chinese MedicineGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Postgraduate AcademyGuangzhou University of Chinese MedicineGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.The First Affiliated HospitalGuangzhou University of Chinese MedicineGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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