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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 815358, 9 pages
Review Article

Beneficial Effects and Safety of Corticosteroids Combined with Traditional Chinese Medicine for Pemphigus: A Systematic Review

Department of Oral Medicine, Peking University School and Hospital of Stomatology, Beijing 100081, China

Received 19 June 2014; Revised 4 November 2014; Accepted 4 November 2014

Academic Editor: Paul Posadzki

Copyright © 2015 Tingting Zhou 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 beneficial effects and safety of corticosteroids combined with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for pemphigus. Methods. Seven electronic databases were searched to identify any potential randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or clinical controlled trials (CCTs) that compared corticosteroids with and without TCM for the treatment of pemphigus, published in any language. Remission of the mucocutaneous lesions, therapeutic duration, dosage of corticosteroids, and specific antibody titers were employed as the main outcome measures. The methodological quality of the included studies was assessed using the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Review of Interventions and Rev Man 5.1.0 software. Results. Four RCTs with a total of 199 patients were included in the present review. Management with corticosteroids combined with TCM seemed to benefit pemphigus patients in terms of healing of lesions, prevention of complications and relapse, and reduced interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) level. The trials were not of high methodological quality. No study mentioned allocation concealment and blinding. Only one trial reported adverse events, and it indicated that the safety of corticosteroids combined with TCM was uncertain. Conclusion. There is some, albeit weak, evidence to show that combined treatment with corticosteroids with TCM could be of benefit for some patients with pemphigus. The efficacy and safety of this combined treatment should be evaluated further in better designed, fully powered, and confirmatory RCTs.