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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 9245186, 9 pages
Research Article

Acupuncture for Chronic Urinary Retention due to Spinal Cord Injury: A Systematic Review

1Department of Acupuncture, Guang’anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, No. 5 Beixiange Street, Xicheng District, Beijing 100053, China
2Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, No. 11 North Third Ring Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029, China

Received 1 February 2016; Revised 20 March 2016; Accepted 22 March 2016

Academic Editor: Roja Rahimi

Copyright © 2016 Jia Wang 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.


No systematic review has been published on the use of acupuncture for the treatment of chronic urinary retention (CUR) due to spinal cord injury (SCI). The aim of this review was to assess the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for CUR due to SCI. Three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) including 334 patients with CUR due to SCI were included. Meta-analysis showed that acupuncture plus rehabilitation training was much better than rehabilitation training alone in decreasing postvoid residual (PVR) urine volume (MD −109.44, 95% CI −156.53 to −62.35). Likewise, a combination of acupuncture and aseptic intermittent catheterization was better than aseptic intermittent catheterization alone in improving response rates (RR 1.23, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.38). No severe adverse events were reported. In conclusion, acupuncture as a complementary therapy may have a potential effect in CUR due to SCI in decreasing PVR and improving bladder voiding. Additionally, acupuncture may be safe in treating CUR caused by SCI. However, due to the lack of high quality RCTs, we could not draw any definitive conclusions. More well-designed RCTs are needed to provide strong evidence.