Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2018, Article ID 8403648, 7 pages
Research Article

Treatment of Urolithiasis with Medicinal Plant Salvia miltiorrhiza: A Nationwide Cohort Study

1Graduate Institute of Integrated Medicine, Chinese Medicine Research Center, Research Center for Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture, College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
2Departments of Urology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical Research, and Anesthesiology, Management Office for Health Data, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
3Center for General Education, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan
4Center for General Education, Chaoyang University of Technology, Taichung, Taiwan
5Department of Urology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
6Department of Chinese Medicine, Kaohsiung Municipal Gangshan Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
7Department of Medicinal Botanicals and Health Applications, Da-Yeh University, Changhua, Taiwan
8Department of Chinese Medicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
9Department of Psychology, College of Medical and Health Science, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan

Correspondence should be addressed to Yung-Hsiang Chen; wt.ude.umc.liam@nehchy

Received 20 November 2017; Revised 9 February 2018; Accepted 1 March 2018; Published 11 April 2018

Academic Editor: Sérgio Faloni De Andrade

Copyright © 2018 Wen-Chi 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.


Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge (Danshen), a common medicinal plant in traditional Chinese medicine, has been tested effectively to prevent urolithiasis in animals; nevertheless, the clinical application for urolithiasis remains unclear. We thus investigated the clinical effect of Danshen by analyzing the database from the Taiwan National Institute of Health. The cohort “Danshen-users” was prescribed Chinese herb medicine Danshen after the initial diagnosis of calculus. The control group (non-Danshen-users) was not given Danshen after the initial diagnosis of calculus. The date of first using Danshen after new diagnosis date of calculus was considered as index date. The outcome variables were categorized into two categories: the first category included calculus surgical treatment, including extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, ureteroscopy, percutaneous nephrostomy with fragmentation, and ureterolithotomy; the second category included any bleeding disorders, including gastrointestinal bleeding, intracranial hemorrhage, and blood transfusions. The incidence of calculus surgical treatment in the Danshen-users was less than that in the non-Danshen-users: 1.071% in 1,000 person-years (200 people followed up for 5 years) and 3.142% in 1,000 person-years, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratio for calculus surgical treatment in the Danshen-users was 0.34 (95% confidence intervals: 0.31–0.38) as compared to the non-Danshen-users. When stratified by sex, the incidence of calculus surgical treatment in Danshen-users was 0.685% in 1,000 person-years and 1.575% in 1,000 person-years for women and men, respectively, which was lower than that in non-Danshen-users. Danshen decreased the ratio of subsequent stone treatment after the first treatment in the study population; there was no increased bleeding risk due to long-term Danshen use.