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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 521780, 7 pages
Research Article

The Exploration of Disease Pattern, Zheng, for Differentiation of Allergic Rhinitis in Traditional Chinese Medicine Practice

1Division of Chinese Internal Medicine, Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, No. 123, Dinghu Road, Guei-shan, Taoyuan 33378, Taiwan
2School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, No. 259, Wen-Hwa 1st Road, Guei-shan, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan
3Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
4Department of Medical Research and Education, National Yang-Ming University Hospital, I-Lan, Taiwan

Received 8 January 2012; Accepted 27 April 2012

Academic Editor: Shi-Bing Su

Copyright © 2012 Sienhung Yang 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.


Pattern, or “zheng,” differentiation is the essential guide to treatment with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). However, the considerable variability between TCM patterns complicates evaluations of TCM treatment effectiveness. The aim of this study was to explore and characterize the relationship between patterns and the core patterns of allergic rhinitis. We summarized 23 clinical trials of allergic rhinitis with mention of pattern differentiation; association rule mining was used to analyze TCM patterns of allergic rhinitis. A total of 205 allergic rhinitis patients seen at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital from March to June 2005 were included for comparison. Among the 23 clinical trials evaluated, lung qi deficiency and spleen qi deficiencies were the core patterns of allergic rhinitis, accounting for 29.50% and 28.98% of all patterns, respectively. A higher prevalence of lung or spleen qi deficiency (93.7%) was found in Taiwan. Additionally, patients with lung or spleen qi deficiency were younger ( 2 7 . 9 9 ± 1 2 . 9 4 versus 5 8 . 5 4 ± 1 2 . 9 6 years) and the severity of nasal stuffiness was higher than among patients with kidney qi deficiency ( 1 . 3 5 ± 0 . 8 9 versus 0 . 6 2 ± 0 . 6 5 ; 𝑃 < 0 . 0 5 ). Lung and spleen qi deficiencies are the core patterns of allergic rhinitis and determining the severity of nasal stuffiness is helpful in differentiating the TCM patterns.