Background: Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is a common complication in patients (pts) with diabetes. However, multinational data do not support any convincing efficacy of the current therapies for treating DPN. This necessitated the evaluation of safety and efficacy of alternative medicine to tackle DPN.

Methods: A double-blinded RCT was conducted in 8 Chinese medicine hospitals in China, evaluating the safety and efficacy of 190 g Tangbi Waixi decoction (TW, intervention (Int)) compared with 19 g TW (control (Cont)). Change in Toronto Clinical Scoring System - Total Score (TCSS-TS) at 12 and 24 weeks follow-up was the primary outcome, with treatment ceasing at 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes included change in bilateral motor velocity (BMV) and sensory nerve conduction velocity (SNCV) of the common peroneal nerve (CPN). All pts received standard care for glycaemic management. The pts in the Int (n=317) and Cont (n=315) groups were analysed on ITT principle. All adverse events (AEs) were recorded.

Results: The pts were mean 60 years old with median 10 yrs and 2 yrs of diabetes and DPN duration respectively at randomisation. With median TCSS-TS of 10 at randomisation in both groups, the median (95% CI) reduction in Int and Cont: at 12 weeks 2 (1.7, 2.3) and 3 (2.7, 3.3) respectively (median between group difference (MBGD): 1.0, p=0.011); at 24 weeks 3 (2.6, 3.4) in both groups. At 12 weeks, median (95% CI) CPN velocity increased in both Int and Cont - BMV Int vs. Cont: 2.7 (1.9, 4.9) m/s vs. 4.9 (2.7, 5.5) m/s, MBGD - 2.5 m/s (p=0.044); SNCV Int vs. Cont: 1.4 (0, 2) m/s vs. 2.7 (1.9, 4.9) m/s, MBGD - 0.7 m/s (p=0.26). Similar increase in CPN velocity was observed at 24 weeks in both groups. Overall 12% pts experienced at least one AE, with no difference between groups.

Conclusion: Treatment of DPN with TW decoction significantly benefitted the pts and is safe, while lower dose of TW appears to be more effective than the higher does.


F. Guanjie: None. Y. Lin: None. S.K. Paul: Advisory Panel; Self; Sanofi. Research Support; Self; AstraZeneca, Genentech, Inc. H. Huang: None. T. Xianyu: None. Z. Yuehong: None. F. Zhaohui: None. Q. Xiaotang: None. D. Fang: None. S. Wang: None. M. Wang: None. H. Wei: None. Z. Ling: None. L. Zhenjie: None. Y. Fu: None. M. Wu: None. L. Anxiang: None. H. Jinzhu: None. Q. Li: None.


National Science and Technology Support Program (2015BAI04B09)

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