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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 705315, 14 pages
Review Article

Oral Huangqi Formulae for Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

1Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510120, China
2Discipline of Chinese Medicine, School of Health Sciences, RMIT University, Bundoora, VIC 3083, Australia
3National Center for Design Measurement and Evaluation in Clinical Research, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510405, China

Received 1 September 2012; Revised 29 November 2012; Accepted 19 January 2013

Academic Editor: Taixiang Wu

Copyright © 2013 Lei Wu 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.


Objective. To evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral Huangqi formulae for the treatment of stable COPD. Methods. The major databases were searched until September 2010 and supplemented with a manual search. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of oral Huangqi formulae that reported on lung function, St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire, symptom improvement and/or frequency of exacerbations were extracted by two reviewers. The Cochrane tool was used for the assessment of risk of bias in the included trials. Data were analyzed with RevMan 5.1.2 software. Results. 25 RCTs (1,661 participants) were included. Compared with conventional therapy (CT) alone, oral Huangqi formulae plus CT increased FEV1, and a similar result was found comparing Huangqi formulae with no treatment. Improvements in SGRQ total score, COPD-related symptoms and reduction of frequency of exacerbations were found in patients receiving Huangqi formulae plus CT compared to those receiving CT alone or CT plus placebo. No serious adverse events were reported. However, there were some methodological inadequacies in the included studies. Conclusions. The benefits of Huangqi formulae for stable COPD were promising, but its efficacy and safety have not been established due to methodological weakness and possible bias in the reported results. Further rigorously designed studies are warranted.