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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 595271, 9 pages
Research Article

Korean Red Ginseng Improves Blood Pressure Stability in Patients with Intradialytic Hypotension

1Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan
2Branch of Chinese Medicine and Linsen, Taipei City Hospital, Taipei 103, Taiwan
3Department of Nephrology, Kidney Research Center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, 5 Fu-Shin Street, Kueishan, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan
4Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan
5Department of Internal Medicine, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei 110, Taiwan
6Departments of Nuclear Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan

Received 5 November 2011; Revised 21 January 2012; Accepted 21 January 2012

Academic Editor: Myeong Soo Lee

Copyright © 2012 I-Ju Chen 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.


Introduction. Intradialytic hypotension (IDH) is a common complication during hemodialysis which may increase mortality risks. Low dose of Korean red ginseng (KRG) has been reported to increase blood pressure. Whether KRG can improve hemodynamic stability during hemodialysis has not been examined. Methods. The 8-week study consisted of two phases: observation phase and active treatment phase. According to prehemodialysis blood pressure (BP), 38 patients with IDH were divided into group A (BP ≥ 140/90 mmHg, n = 18) and group B (BP < 140/90 mmHg, n = 20). Patients were instructed to chew 3.5 gm KRG slices at each hemodialysis session during the 4-week treatment phase. Blood pressure changes, number of sessions disturbed by symptomatic IDH, plasma levels of vasoconstrictors, blood biochemistry, and adverse effects were recorded. Results. KRG significantly reduced the degree of blood pressure drop during hemodialysis ( ) and the frequency of symptomatic IDH ( ). More activation of vasoconstrictors (endothelin-1 and angiotensin II) during hemodialysis was found. The postdialytic levels of endothelin-1 and angiotensin II increased significantly ( ). Conclusion. Chewing KRG renders IDH patients better resistance to acute BP reduction during hemodialysis via activation of vasoconstrictors. Our results suggest that KRG could be an adjuvant treatment for IDH.