24.05.2016 | Original Article—Alimentary Tract | Ausgabe 3/2017
Involvement of herbal medicine as a cause of mesenteric phlebosclerosis: results from a large-scale nationwide survey
Journal of Gastroenterology
- Seiji Shimizu, Taku Kobayashi, Hideo Tomioka, Kensei Ohtsu, Toshiyuki Matsui, Toshifumi Hibi
Mesenteric phlebosclerosis (MP) is a rare disease characterized by venous calcification extending from the colonic wall to the mesentery, with chronic ischemic changes from venous return impairment in the intestine. It is an idiopathic disease, but increasing attention has been paid to the potential involvement of herbal medicine, or Kampo, in its etiology. Until now, there were scattered case reports, but no large-scale studies have been conducted to unravel the clinical characteristics and etiology of the disease.
A nationwide survey was conducted using questionnaires to assess possible etiology (particularly the involvement of herbal medicine), clinical manifestations, disease course, and treatment of MP.
Data from 222 patients were collected. Among the 169 patients (76.1 %), whose history of herbal medicine was obtained, 147 (87.0 %) used herbal medicines. The use of herbal medicines containing sanshishi (gardenia fruit, Gardenia jasminoides Ellis) was reported in 119 out of 147 patients (81.0 %). Therefore, the use of herbal medicine containing sanshishi was confirmed in 70.4 % of 169 patients whose history of herbal medicine was obtained. The duration of sanshishi use ranged from 3 to 51 years (mean 13.6 years). Patients who discontinued sanshishi showed a better outcome compared with those who continued it.
The use of herbal medicine containing sanshishi is associated with the etiology of MP. Although it may not be the causative factor, it is necessary for gastroenterologists to be aware of the potential risk of herbal medicine containing sanshishi for the development of MP.