The Effectiveness of Acupuncture in Management of Functional Constipation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
ABSTRACT: Objective:The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for functional constipation (FC). Methods:A rigorous literature search was performed in English (PubMed, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, and EMBASE) and Chinese (China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Chinese Biological Medical (CBM), Wanfang database, and China Science and Technology Journal (VIP)) electronic databases from their inception to October 2019. Included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) compared acupuncture therapy with sham acupuncture or pharmacological therapies. The outcome measures were evaluated, including the primary outcome of complete spontaneous bowel movement (CSBM) and secondary outcomes of Bristol Stool Form Scale (BSFS), constipation symptoms scores (CSS), responder rate, the Patient Assessment of Constipation Quality of Life (PAC-QOL) questionnaire, and safety evaluation. Meta-analysis was performed by using RevMan5.3. Results:The merged data of 28 RCTs with 3525 participants indicated that acupuncture may be efficient for FC by increasing CSBMs (p < 0.00001; MD?=?0.84 [95% CI, 0.65 to 1.03]; I 2?=?0%) and improving constipation symptoms (p=0.03; SMD?=?-0.4 [95% CI, -0.78 to -0.03]; I 2?=?74%), stool formation (p < 0.00001; MD?=?0.24 [95% CI, 0.15 to 0.34]; I 2?=?0%), quality of life (p < 0.00001; N?=?1, MD?=?-0.33 [95% CI, -0.45 to -0.21]), and responder rates (p=0.02; RR?=?2.16; [95% CI, 1.1 to 4.24]; I 2?=?69%) compared with the effects of sham treatment. No increased risk of adverse events was observed (p=0.44; RR?=?1.18; [95% CI, 0.77 to 1.81]; I 2?=?0%). With regard to medication comparisons, the pooled data indicated that acupuncture was more effective in increasing CSBMs (p=0.004; MD?=?0.53 [95% CI, 0.17 to 0.88]; I 2?=?88%) and improving patients' quality of life (p < 0.00001; SMD?=?-0.73 [95% CI, -1.02 to -0.44]; I 2?=?64%), with high heterogeneity. However, there were no significant differences in responder rate (p=0.12; RR?=?1.31; [95% CI, 0.94 to 1.82]; I 2?=?53%), BSFS (p=0.5; MD?=?0.17 [95% CI, -0.33 to 0.68]; I 2?=?93%), or CSS (p=0.05; SMD?=?-0.62 [95% CI, -1.23 to -0.01]; I 2?=?89%). Regarding safety evaluation, acupuncture was safer than medications (p < 0.0001; RR?=?0.3; [95% CI, 0.18 to 0.52]; I 2?=?30%). Conclusions:Current evidence suggests that acupuncture is an efficient and safe treatment for FC. Acupuncture increased stool frequency, improved stool formation, alleviated constipation symptoms, and improved quality of life. However, the evidence quality was relatively low and the relationship between acupuncture and drugs is not clear. More high-quality trials are recommended in the future. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42019143347.
Project description:Background:Acupuncture has been found to be effective for treating chronic constipation. Objective:The objective of this exploratory study was to evaluate the efficacy of electroacupuncture (EA) in the subgroup of women with chronic severe functional constipation. Methods:This is a subgroup analysis of the multicenter, randomized, sham-acupuncture (SA) controlled trial. The efficacy of 822 (76%) female patients of the 1075 randomized patients with chronic severe functional constipation was evaluated. Patients were randomly assigned to receive 28 sessions of EA or SA over 8 weeks with 12 weeks' follow-up. This study focused on sustained complete spontaneous bowel movements (CSBMs) responders over the 8-week treatment. Results:The primary outcome which was percentage of the sustained CSBMs responders for the subset of women with severe constipation was significantly higher in the EA group (24.3%) than in the SA group (8.1%) with difference of 13.1% (95%CI, 6.5% to 19.7%; P<0.001). As for the secondary outcomes, responders for ?9 of 12 weeks of follow-up were higher in the EA group than in the SA group. Additionally, EA had significantly better improvement in mean weekly CSBMs, mean weekly spontaneous bowel movements (SBMs), and mean score changes of stool consistency and straining as well as quality of life of patients. The incidence of adverse events (AEs) related to acupuncture was rare and no statistical significance was found between two groups. Conclusion:EA improved the spontaneity and the completeness of the bowel movement of women with severe functional constipation during 8-week treatment and the effect sustained for 12 weeks after stopping treatment.
Project description:The correlation between the Bristol stool form scale (BSFS) and colonic transit time (CTT) has been reported in Western populations. Our study aims to study the relationship between BSFS, stool frequency, and CTT in Eastern patients with chronic constipation.A total of 144 chronic functional constipation patients underwent colonic transit study by using radio-opaque markers, anorectal manometry, and balloon expulsion test. Stool diary including stool forms and frequency was recorded. Delayed CTT was defined as the retention of more than 20.0% of radio-opaque markers in the colon on day 5.Twenty-five patients (17.4%) had delayed colonic transit. Mean 5-day BSFS (OR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.34-0.79; P = 0.021) and stool frequency (OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.44-0.83; P = 0.002) were independently associated with delayed CTT by logistic regression analysis. Mean 5-day BSFS (area under the curve [AUC], 0.73; 95% CI, 0.62-0.84; P < 0.001) and stool frequency (AUC, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.63-0.87; P < 0.001) fairly predicted delayed CTT. The optimal mean 5-day BSFS of ? 3 provided 68.0% sensitivity, 69.7% specificity, and 69.4% accuracy, and the optimal stool frequency ? 2 bowel movements in 5 days provided 64.0% sensitivity, 83.1% specificity, and 84.0% accuracy for predicting delayed CTT.Both stool form and frequency were significantly associated with delayed CTT. Stool frequency ? 2 and BSFS 1-3 rather than BSFS 1-2 that was used in the Westerners could be used as surrogate for delayed CTT in Eastern patients with constipation.
Project description:Background:Electroacupuncture (EA) has been shown to improve complete spontaneous bowel movements (CSBMs), but the duration of its effects remains unknown. The objective of this study was to explore the duration of acupuncture effects after treatment and its associated factors for chronic severe functional constipation (CSFC). Methods:This was a secondary analysis of a multicenter, randomized, sham-acupuncture (SA) controlled trial that included 1075 participants with CSFC. The primary outcome, the duration of acupuncture effects after treatment, was the number of weeks during the 12-week follow-up period that participants were to meet the weekly CSBM responder criteria. A weekly CSBM responder was defined as a participant who had at least three CSBMs for a given week and an increase from baseline of at least one CSBM for that same week. We performed a retrospective multivariate analysis to explore potential factors associated with sustained acupuncture effects. Results:The duration of acupuncture effects in the EA group (5.5?weeks) was significantly higher than the duration of SA effects in the SA group (2.2?weeks) with a between-group difference of 3.2?weeks (95% CI, 2.77-3.78; p?<?0.001). A younger age and higher baseline CSBMs per week [regression coefficient (RC) -0.06, 95% confidence interval (CI) (-0.06 to -0.04); RC 2.43, 95% CI 1.78-3.60; respectively] were associated with longer durations of acupuncture effects. Conclusions:EA had sustained post-treatment effects for CFSC. A significant association among a younger age, higher baseline CSBMs and sustained acupuncture effects was observed. Further research is needed to confirm the association. Trial registration:ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01726504). Registered on 26 August 2012.
Project description:Objective:To evaluate the evidence for the efficacy and safety of acupuncture at Tianshu (ST25) for functional constipation (FC). Methods:We systematically searched seven databases to identify randomized controlled trials of acupuncture at ST25 alone or in combination with conventional therapy in the treatment of FC. Risk ratios (RRs) and mean differences (MDs) were calculated using RevMan 5.3 with 95% confidence interval (CI). Results:The study included ten trials with 1568 participants. Meta-analysis showed that the Cleveland Constipation Score (CCS) for deep needling was significantly lower than that for lactulose (deep needling with low-frequency dilatational wave: MD -0.58, 95% CI -0.94 to -0.22; deep needling with sparse wave: MD -3.67, 95% CI -6.40 to -0.94; deep needling with high-frequency dilatational wave: MD -3.42, 95% CI -5.03 to -1.81). Furthermore, CCS for shallow needling with high-frequency dilatational wave was lower than that for lactulose (MD -1.77, 95% CI -3.40 to -0.14). In addition, when deep needling was combined with high-frequency dilatational wave, the weekly frequency of spontaneous defecation (FSD) was significantly higher than that for lactulose (MD 1.57, 95% CI 0.93 to 2.21). Colonic Transit Time (CTT) scores were significantly higher when deep needling was combined with sparse wave (MD -14.36, 95% CI -18.31 to -10.41) or high-frequency dilatational wave (MD -11.53, 95% CI -19.25 to -3.81). The time of first defecation after treatment (TFD) of the shallow needling therapy was significantly longer than that of the lactulose (MD 13.67, 95% CI 5.66 to 21.67). The CCS 6 months after treatment (CCS6m) for deep needling was significantly lower than that for lactulose (MD -4.90, 95% CI -5.97 to -3.84). Moreover, the FSD 6 months after treatment (FSD6m) for shallow needling was significantly higher than that for lactulose (MD 0.49, 95% CI 0.02 to 0.97). The adverse event (AE) rate for lactulose was significantly higher than that achieved with the needling treatments, and this held true for both deep needling therapy (RR 0.41, 95% CI 0.23 to 0.72) and shallow needling therapy (RR 0.33, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.77). Conclusions:The meta-analysis demonstrates that acupuncture at ST25 appears to be more effective than lactulose in the treatment of functional constipation. This was found to be especially true for deep needling with high-frequency dilatational wave, which had a greater impact on improving CCS, FSD, CTT, and CCS6m. Additionally, acupuncture at ST25 was shown to be safer than conventional treatment, with the rate of AE being significantly lower for both deep needling and shallow needling. The trial is registered with https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/(CRD42019141017)).
Project description:Background: Constipation is a common gastrointestinal disorder that in general population is associated with worse health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The epidemiology of constipation has not been reliably determined in conservatively-treated CKD patients. We aimed to determine the prevalence of constipation and constipation-related symptoms in conservatively-treated CKD patients, to find factors associated with their altered prevalence ratio (PR), and to verify the associations between constipation and HRQoL. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 111 conservatively-treated CKD outpatients fulfilled questionnaires that included questions addressing HRQoL (SF-36v2®), constipation-related symptoms (The Patient Assessment of Constipation-Symptoms questionnaire), the Bristol stool form scale (BSFS), Rome III criteria of functional constipation (FC), and frequency of bowel movement (BM). Results: Depending on the used definition, the prevalence of constipation was 6.6-28.9%. Diuretics and paracetamol were independently associated with increased PR of BSFS-diagnosed constipation (PR 2.86, 95% CI 1.28-6.37, P = 0.01) and FC (PR 2.67, 95% CI 1.07-6.64, P = 0.035), respectively. The most commonly reported symptoms were bloating (50.9%) and straining to pass a BM (42.7%). Abdominal discomfort (37.3%) was independently associated with worse scores in all analyzed HRQoL domains. In multiple regressions, FC and having <7 BM/week, but not BSFS-diagnosed constipation, were associated with lower scores in several HRQoL domains. Conclusions: Constipation and related symptoms are prevalent in CKD patients. FC and decreased frequency of defecation, but not BSFS-diagnosed constipation, are associated with worse assessment of HRQoL in conservatively-treated CKD patients.
Project description:Objective:This meta-analysis aimed to investigate the effectiveness of acupuncture therapy plus hyaluronic acid injection versus hyaluronic acid injection alone for patients with knee osteoarthritis. Methods:Relevant randomized controlled trials that compared the combined effect of acupuncture therapy and hyaluronic acid injection with hyaluronic acid injection alone for knee osteoarthritis patients were included. 10 studies were included in this meta-analysis, and the relative risk (RR) and weight mean difference (MD) with 95% CI for the Lysholm knee score (LKSS), visual analogue scale (VAS), and effective rate (ER) were evaluated by using RevMan 5.3 software. Besides, the bias assessment of the included studies was evaluated using the Cochrane risk of bias tool, and the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment Development, and Evaluation) system was applied to assess the overall quality of the evidence. Results:A total of 10 studies involving 998 participants were included in this study. Compared to hyaluronic acid injection alone, the combined therapy significantly reduced pain on the visual analogue scale (VAS) and improved the ER and knee function on the Lysholm knee score (LKSS). Of these, the pooled LKSS (MD?=?8.09, 95% CI?=?[7.02, 9.16], p < 0.00001, 7 studies) and ER (RR?=?1.23, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.31, p < 0.00001, 7 studies) and ER (RR?=?1.23, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.31, p < 0.00001, 7 studies) and ER (RR?=?1.23, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.31. Conclusion:Current evidence suggests that acupuncture therapy combined with hyaluronic acid injection is more effective in alleviating pain, improving the ER and knee function compared with hyaluronic acid injection alone. However, considering the low quality, small size, and high risk of the studies identified in this meta-analysis, more higher methodological quality, rigorously designed randomized controlled trials with large sample sizes are needed to confirm the results.
Project description:Background:Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder with recurrent abdominal pain and altered defecation habits. We here attempted to determine the effect of acupuncture on IBS. Methods:Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in CNKI, VIP, Wanfang, PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Web of science, and ClinicalTrials.gov till July 17, 2019 were searched. Outcomes were total efficacy rates, overall IBS symptom scores, or global quality of life scores. Standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) and risk ratio (RR) with 95% CI were calculated for meta-analysis. Results:We included 41 RCTs involving 3440 participants for analysis. 8 RCTs compared acupuncture with sham acupuncture, among which 3 trials confirmed the biological effects of acupuncture, especially in treating abdominal pain, discomfort, and stool frequency. No significant difference was found when acupuncture was compared with sham acupuncture, in terms of effects on IBS symptoms and quality of life (SMD?=?0.18, 95% CI -0.26?0.63, P=0.42; SMD?=?-0.10, 95% CI -0.31?0.11, P=0.35), but the pooled efficacy rate data showed a better outcome for true acupuncture (RR?=?1.22, 95% CI 1.01?1.47, P=0.04), which was not supported by sensitivity analysis. Acupuncture was more effective relative to western medicine in alleviating IBS symptoms (RR?=?1.17, 95% CI 1.12?1.23, I 2?=?0%, P < 0.00001), whose effect might last 3 months. Besides, acupuncture as an adjunct to western medicine, Chinese medications, or tuina was superior over the single latter treatment (RR?=?1.68, 95% CI 1.18 to 2.40, P=0.004; 1.19, 1.03 to 1.36, P=0.02; 1.36, 1.08 to 1.72, P=0.009, respectively), with high heterogeneities. Conclusions:Relative to sham controls, acupuncture showed no superiority for treating IBS, while the advantage over western medicine was significant. Acupuncture could be used as an adjunct in clinical settings to improve efficacy. Future high-quality and large-sample-size studies with adequate quantity-effect design need to be conducted.
Project description:Commensal as well as pathogenic bacteria can influence a variety of gut functions, thereby leading to constipation and diarrhea in severe cases. In fact, several researchers have reported evidence supporting the association between stool consistency or constipation and the Gut microbiome (GM) composition and dysbiosis. GM influences the human health and disease via the gut-brain axis. We thus hypothesized that the pathogenic bacteria increases pain perception to some extent, which means that there could be an association between stool consistency or constipation and pain perception of healthy subjects.Observational study.The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between stool consistency or constipation and pain perception of healthy subjects.Thirty-eight healthy subjects participated in this study. The participants were assessed on their usual stool form (the Bristol Stool Form Scale: BSFS), constipation (the Cleveland Clinic Constipation score: CCS), degree of obesity, pain perception by mechanical stimulus, cold pain threshold, and a questionnaire on psychological state.The BSFS was significantly and positively associated with pain perception, and showed a significant association with anxiety states. Furthermore, pain perception was significantly associated with anxiety states. However, there were no significant associations between the CCS and any independent variables. In addition, we found that a significant predictor to the pain perception was BSFS. Moreover, there were significant relationships among the psychological states, BSFS and obesity.These results suggest that the stool form is associated with pain perception and anxiety status.
Project description:Fecal microbiota transplantation has been proposed as a therapeutic approach for chronic constipation. This randomized, controlled trial aimed to compare the effects of conventional treatment alone (control) with additional treatment with FMT (intervention) in patients with slow-transit constipation (STC). Adults with STC were randomized to receive intervention or control treatment. The control group received education, behavioral strategies, and oral laxatives. The intervention group was additionally provided 6 days of FMT. The primary endpoint was the clinical cure rate (proportion of patients achieving a mean of ? three complete spontaneous bowel movements [CSBMs] per week]. Secondary outcomes and safety parameters were assessed throughout the study. Sixty patients were randomized to either conventional treatment alone (n = 30) or FMT (n = 30) through a nasointestinal tube. There were significant differences between the intervention group and control group in the clinical improvement rate (intention-to-treat [ITT]: 53.3% vs. 20.0%, P = 0.009), clinical cure rate (ITT: 36.7% vs. 13.3%, P = 0.04), mean number of CSBMs per week (ITT: 3.2 ± 1.4 vs. 2.1 ± 1.2, P = 0.001), and the Wexner constipation score (ITT: 8.6 ± 1.5 vs. 12.7 ± 2.5, P < 0.00001). Compared with the control group, the intervention group showed better results in the stool consistency score (ITT: 3.9 vs. 2.4, P < 0.00001) and colonic transit time (ITT: 58.5 vs. 73.6 h, P < 0.00001). The intervention group had more treatment-related adverse events than did the control group (50 vs. 4 cases). FMT was significantly more effective (30% higher cure rate) for treatment of STC than conventional treatment. No serious adverse events were observed.
Project description:Our aim was to assess the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for OSA patients with various severities of the disorder. Eight databases including PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Web of Science, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Chongqing VIP (CQVIP), Wanfang Data, and Chinese Biomedical Literature Database (CBM) were comprehensively searched till July 2019. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) testing acupuncture in the treatment of OSA were eligible for inclusion. Studies were selected for inclusion, and data were extracted by two authors independently. The Cochrane Collaboration's Risk of Bias Assessment Tool and RevMan software (version 5.3) were used to evaluate the quality of studies and conduct statistical analysis. Nine RCTs with 584 participants were included. The trials covered acupuncture and electropuncture. Acupuncture caused clinically significant reductions in AHI (MD: -6.18; 95% CI: -9.58 to -2.78; Z = 3.56, P = 0.0004) as well as in ESS (MD: -2.84; 95% CI: -4.80 to -0.16, Z = 2.09, P = 0.04). AHI was reduced more in the subgroup analysis of moderate OSA patients (MD: -9.44; 95% CI: -12.44 to -6.45; Z = 6.18, P < 0.00001) and severe OSA patients (MD: -10.09; 95% CI: -12.47 to -7.71; Z = 8.31, P < 0.00001). ESS was also reduced more in the subgroup analysis of moderate OSA patients (MD: -2.40; 95% CI: -3.63 to -1.17; Z = 3.83, P = 0.0001) and severe OSA patients (MD: -4.64; 95% CI: -5.35 to -3.92; Z = 12.72, P < 0.00001). Besides, acupuncture had a beneficial effect on LSaO2 (MD: 5.29; 95% CI: 2.61 to 7.97; Z = 3.86, P = 0.0001). The outcome of AHI and LSaO2 yielded consistent results after sensitivity analysis, but the direction of the outcome of ESS was reversed. And the quality of evidence was mainly low to very low. Acupuncture therapy is effective for OSA patients in reducing AHI and ESS and in improving the LSaO2 of various severities, especially in moderate and severe OSA patients. High-quality trials are urgently needed.