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Gemmotherapy – adjuvant treatment in juvenile spondyloarthropathy
The spondyloarthropathies (SpA) are a group of rheumatic diseases that predominantly affect the axial skeleton's joints accompanied by enthesitis. SpA are strongly associated with HLA-B27 histocompatibility antigen.
Gemmotherapy is a form of herbal medicine that uses remedies made from the embryonic tissue of various trees and shrubs, the reproductive parts and from newly-grown tissues.
Monitoring the response to gemmotherapy of a selected pediatric cohort of spondyloarthropaty.
The assessment of the 21 children included complete clinical and functional evaluation (disease activity score, visual analogue scale, disability index), lab tests, x-ray and genetic study. Reevaluation was performed at 3 and 6 months.
According to the European Spondyloarthropathy Study Group criteria, we diagnosed 4 children with juvenile ankylosing spondylitis (AS), 7 cases of undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy (USp), 4 cases with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) associated spondylarthropathy, 6 patients with reactive arthritis (RA).
Treatment of AS and of arthropaties with IBD included nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAID), Sulfalazine, biologics and glucocorticoids. In USp and RA, NSAID and gemmotherapy was used. Cases with mild or no inflammation in lab test was selected for exclusive herbal therapy. Administration of extracts of Ribes nigrum L., Abies pectinata Poir., Pinus montana Schur, Vaccinium vitis-idaea L., Ampelopsis veitchii Hort. was daily, during 6 months, in adapted dose and was accompanied by physical therapy. Reevaluation (3 and 6 months) denoted an amelioration of clinical signs and functional scores in all 13 cases and remission in 8 cases.
Gemmotherapy associated with exercises minimized symptoms, ameliorated joint mobility and allowed a well tolerated, natural therapy.
References: Pitera F (2000) Compendio di gemmoterapia clinica (Meristemoterapia) con indice clinico, Genova,
Cassidy JT, Petty R E, Laxer RM, Lindsley CB (2006) Textbook of Pediatric Rheumatology, fifth edition, Elsevier Saunders