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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 5191729, 7 pages
Review Article

The Effectiveness and Safety of Acupuncture for Patients with Chronic Urticaria: A Systematic Review

1Department of Acupuncture, Guang’anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100053, China
2School of Graduates, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China

Received 20 February 2016; Revised 15 April 2016; Accepted 3 May 2016

Academic Editor: Enrico Heffler

Copyright © 2016 Qin Yao 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.


Background. Acupuncture might have effectiveness in relieving the symptoms of chronic urticaria. There are currently no systematic reviews of acupuncture for chronic urticaria published in English. Objective. We conducted a systematic review to assess the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for chronic urticaria. Methods. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials were performed. The primary outcome was global symptom improvement. Results. We included 6 studies with 406 participants. Three trials showed significant difference between acupuncture and drugs in global symptom improvement (relative risk 1.37; 95% CI 1.11–1.70; ). As an adjuvant to medication, acupuncture was also beneficial for global symptom improvement (relative risk 1.77; 95% CI 1.41–2.22; ). There were no severe adverse events related to acupuncture. Limitations. Some methodological limitations were observed. The overall risk of bias in the 6 included trials was high and all included RCTs were conducted in China and published in Chinese. Besides, the lack of proper control groups and the use of different rating methods and cut-offs in the included trials also made the evidence of this review limited. Conclusions. Acupuncture might be effective and safe for chronic urticaria in relieving symptoms, based on a low level of evidence. To draw a reliable conclusion, more high quality trials are needed in the future. This trial is registered with PROSPERO CRD42015015702.