To summarize and analyze the compatibility laws and the characteristics of acupoint selection in the treatment of gout by acupuncture over the past 16 years.
"Gout" and "acupuncture" or "electroacupuncture" were used as search terms in the CNKI, VIP, Wanfang and PubMed databases to retrieve relevant literature. The frequency of the main acupoints and auxiliary acupoints were summarized, respectively. Association rule and hierarchical clustering analysis were used to analyze the possible rules for selecting the main acupoints.
One hundred and eighteen studies met the inclusiven criteria, and involved 67 main acupoints with a frequency of all points of 630. The most commonly used acupoints were Sanyinjiao (SP 6), Ashi point, Zusanli (ST 36), Yinlingquan (SP 9), and Taichong (LR 3). The main acupoints mainly belonged to the Spleen Meridian of Foot-taiyin, Stomach Meridian of Foot-yangming and Liver Meridian of Foot-jueyin. Association rule analysis showed that Ashi point, Zusanli (ST 36) and Sanyinjiao (SP 6) had the highest correlation of all the selected acupoints. The cluster analysis showed five core clustering groups.
Acupuncture treatment of gout focuses on acupoints along meridians and the acupoints around the affected joint. The main principles in the treatment of gout are invigorating Spleen, tonifying Kidney, dissipating dampness, resolving blood stasis, clearing away heat, removing toxic substances, soothing Liver, regulating qi, dredging collaterals and relieving pain.