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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 480950, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/480950
Review Article

Scalp Acupuncture for Acute Ischemic Stroke: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

1The Center of Neurology and Rehabilitation, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou 325027, China
2School of Chinese Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
3The Second People's Hospital of Hefei City, The Affiliated Hefei Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230022, China
4Department of Neurobiology Acupuncture Research, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou 310005, China

Received 1 July 2012; Accepted 26 August 2012

Academic Editor: David Baxter

Copyright © 2012 Yan Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Scalp acupuncture (SA) is a commonly used therapeutic approach for stroke throughout China and elsewhere in the world. The objective of this study was to assess clinical efficacy and safety of SA for acute ischemic stroke. A systematical literature search of 6 databases was conducted to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of SA for acute ischemic stroke compared with western conventional medicines (WCMs). All statistical analyses were performed by the Rev Man Version 5.0. Eight studies with 538 participants were included in the studies. The studies were deemed to have an unclear risk of bias based on the Cochrane Back Review Group. Compared with the WCM, 6 RCTs showed significant effects of SA for improving neurological deficit scores ( ); 4 RCTs showed significant effects of SA for favoring the clinical effective rate ( ) However, the adverse events have not been documented. In conclusion, SA appears to be able to improve neurological deficit score and the clinical effective rate when compared with WCM, though the beneficial effect from SA is possibly overvalued because of generally low methodology of the included trials. No evidence is available for adverse effects. Rigorous well-designed clinical trials are needed.