Acupoint embedding therapy improves nonalcoholic fatty liver disease with abnormal transaminase: A PRISMA-compliant systematic review and meta-analysis.Medicine (Baltimore). 2020 Jan; 99(3):e18775.M
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) with abnormal transaminase were main targeted disorder in clinical intervention. Acupuncture embedding has been used as a modified acupuncture therapy in current management, while no comprehensive summarization has been established. Hence, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of acupoint embedding alone or in combination for NAFLD with abnormal transaminase, and to provide potential regimen for further verification.
Seven English and Chinese databases were systematically researched from inception to February 28, 2019, including PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Chinese biomedical literature database (SinoMed), Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Chinese VIP information (VIP), and WanFang database. Academic dissertations were also searched as supplement. The searching terms included "nonalcoholic fatty liver disease," "acupoint embedding," "clinical trial," with their corresponding synonyms. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs involving acupoint embedding alone or in combination for adult patients with NAFLD with abnormal transaminase were included. The diagnosis of NAFLD should be confirmed by radiologic evidence. Two researchers independently completed predefined data sets extraction and quality assessment. STATA 15.0 was applied to estimate the combined effect presented as odds ratio or mean difference (MD) with a 95% confidence interval (CI). The primary outcome was the change of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT).
A total of fifteen studies with 1349 patients were included. Meta-analysis reported that acupoint embedding alone or in combination was superior to conventional medications on ALT change (MD: 16.58, 95%CI: [10.42, 22.74], P < .001). The benefits were also demonstrated in other outcomes, including aspartate aminotransferase, triglyceride, and total cholesterol, total efficacy rate and radiological efficacy rate. The safety profile of acupoint embedding was satisfactory. BL18 (Ganshu) was the most frequently utilized acupoint.
To some extent, the systematic review supported the application of acupoint embedding in management of NAFLD, while further high-quality studies should be designed to evaluate the practical effect of acupoint embedding.