Effectiveness of acupuncture for angina pectoris: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials



Effectiveness of acupuncture for angina pectoris: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials


Journal Publication





Research Type

Systematic Review



Background: The purpose of this systematic review is to assess the effectiveness of acupuncture for angina pectoris. Methods: Eleven electronic databases were searched until January 2013. The study included randomized controlled trials that the effectiveness of acupuncture alone was compared to anti-angina medicines (in addition to conventional treatment) and the effectiveness of a combination of acupuncture plus anti-angina medicines was compared to anti-angina medicines alone. The trial selection, data extraction, quality assessment and data analytic procedures outlined in the 2011 Cochrane Handbook were involved. Results: The study included 25 randomized controlled trials (involving 2,058 patients) that met our inclusion criteria. The pooled results showed that the number of patients with ineffectiveness of angina relief was less in the combined acupuncture-anti-angina treatment group than in the anti-angina medicines alone group (RR 0.33, 95% CI 0.23-0.47, p < 0.00001, I2 = 0%). Similarly, compared to the anti-angina medicines alone group, fewer patients in the combined treatment group showed no ECG improvement (RR 0.50, 95% CI 0.40-0.62, p < 0.00001, I2 = 0%). However, no differences were observed between acupuncture treatment alone and anti-angina medicines alone for both outcome measures. Only four trials mentioned adverse effects. One trial found no significant difference between acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and three reported no adverse events. The quality of the trials was found to be low. Conclusions: The findings showed very low evidence to support the use of acupuncture for improving angina symptoms and ECG of angina patients. However, the quality of the trials included in this study was low. Large and rigorously designed trials are needed to confirm the potential benefit and adverse events of acupuncture.




Accession Number: 103807220. Language: English. Entry Date: 20150605. Revision Date: 20150710. Publication Type: Journal Article; meta analysis; research; systematic review; tables/charts. Journal Subset: Alternative/Complementary Therapies; Biomedical; Europe; Expert Peer Reviewed; Peer Reviewed; UK & Ireland. Special Interest: Evidence-Based Practice. NLM UID: 101088661.

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