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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 320542, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/320542
Research Article

The Observation of Humoral Responses after Influenza Vaccination in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated with Japanese Oriental (Kampo) Medicine: An Observational Study

1Department of Japanese Oriental Medicine, Gunma Central and General Hospital, Maebashi Gunma 371-0025, Japan
2Department of Internal Medicine, Gunma Central and General Hospital, Maebashi Gunma 371-0025, Japan
3Department of Japanese Oriental Medicine, Kobe Century Memorial Hospital, Japan

Received 2 December 2011; Accepted 1 February 2012

Academic Editor: Vincenzo De Feo

Copyright © 2012 Toshiaki Kogure et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objective. The efficacy of influenza vaccination in patients treated with Japanese Oriental (Kampo) Medicine is unknown. The objectives of this study were to observe the efficacy of influenza vaccination in RA patients treated with Kampo. Methods. Trivalent influenza subunit vaccine was administered to 45 RA patients who had received Kampo. They were divided into 2 groups: RA patients treated without MTX (“without MTX group”) and treated with MTX (“with MTX group”). Antibody titers were measured before and 4 weeks after vaccination using hemagglutination inhibition assay. Results. Geometric mean titers (GMTs) of anti-influenza antibodies significantly increased for all influenza strains. Response to the influenza vaccination in RA patients treated with Kampo was not lower than that of healthy subjects and the response in the “with MTX group” had a tendency to be higher than that in RA patients treated with MTX in the previous study. There was no significant difference in the GMT after 4 weeks between the “with MTX group” and the “without MTX group.” A decreased efficacy in both seroprotection and seroconversion was not found in the “with MTX group.” Conclusion. These observations may open the way for further clinical trials to establish the efficacy for the influenza vaccination in RA patients treated with Kampo.